Minority Entrepreneurs

Help secure your electronic and mobile devices — and protect your bottom line!

The Internet and mobile technologies have become indispensable for many small businesses. Yet without proper safeguards, they can put your data, your systems, and even your company at risk.

Cyber criminals are increasing their attacks on smaller firms simply because they know many don’t have the resources to stop them:

Possels Perfume

Fabienne Christenson's Possets Perfume finally did what she had always secretly wanted to do: make and sell perfume. Christenson decided to use the internet as her storefront, as overseas customers would be an essential part of her business.

Fabienne Christenson's
Year Company Formed
My Successes

Perfumer Discovers Sweet Scent of Success with Possets
After working for over a decade in manufacturing, Fabienne Christenson finally did what she had always secretly wanted to do: make and sell perfume. Christenson decided to use the internet as her storefront, as overseas customers would be an essential part of her business.
Though she created a business plan in MBA school, following through on it in real life was a different matter. She sat down with Dick Wendel from SCORE in 2006 and thoroughly examined her company's goals, strengths, weaknesses, and needs.
Writing a new plan took more than a month of hard work, but Christenson says it was worth it.
"I felt as if I had left no problem unexamined and I changed my mind about a number of important factors during my writing. For instance, what should I do if there is an economic downturn? Good thing I thought of that. If I hadn't, I know I would have priced myself out of the success zone," said Christenson. "The best thing about a business plan is that you must take a look at where you are likely to end up and what you need to do about it in advance.
"With a good business plan you won't get caught by unexpected circumstances because you will have researched it all when it's the most powerful: at the beginning of your business. You really do have to sit down and do that plan."
Possets Perfume is located at
www.possets.com. Christenson has a lively blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, podcast, and a Hubpage as well as a member forum. Descriptions of hundreds of fragrances to choose from are on her site, with something new all the time. Possets Perfume is also sold retail at bigg's/Remke in Hyde Park.

What's Great About My Mentor?


How SCORE Helped

Fabienne Christenson's Possets Perfume finally did what she had always secretly wanted to do: make and sell perfume. Christenson decided to use the internet as her storefront, as overseas customers would be an essential part of her business.



Persistent listening is a frequently neglected skill, both in business relationships and personal ones, but it’s crucial for mutual understanding and success. From a business standpoint, persistent listening is empathetically listening to consumers in order to learn about them, understand their sentiments and values, and put that knowledge to productive use. 

By Stephen Monaco

Listening, really listening, is hard. We’re often too preoccupied by our own life situations to devote our full attention to what our spouses, family members, friends, and co-workers have to say, but failing to listen is detrimental to any relationship.

About the Author

Stephen Monaco headshot

Stephen Monaco is an integrated marketing expert, thought leader, innovator, author, and speaker. As a marketing consultant and social business strategist, Monaco advises companies on driving strategies and leveraging digital media to effectively realize business goals. He welcomes anyone to reach out to him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+.  


A checklist to make sure that your customers can find your business through all the available avenues.

If your customers can't find you then your business will fail. This eGuide from Yext and SCORE will help you make sure that you are doing everything to make it easier for your customers, current and future, to find your business. Ensure you have the correct listing on all the available platforms from Yelp! to social media. Download the Location Information Check List and don't get lost.

Small business owners are a practical bunch. So when it comes to digital marketing – websites, search ads, digital banners, email, mobile ads, and others – they approach it with a decidedly practical bent. “Generating leads and sales is very important to us,” says Jack Groot, owner of JP’s Coffee & Espresso Bar in Holland, MI. "Without real traffic and ultimately profit, there is little or no value for us in digital marketing.”

By Daniel Kehrer
Founder, BizBest.com

About the Author

Daniel KehrerDaniel Kehrer, Founder & Managing Director of BizBest Media Corp., is a nationally-known, award-winning expert on small and local business, start-ups, content marketing, entrepreneurship and social media, with an MBA from UCLA/Anderson. Read more of Daniel's tips at www.BizBest.com, follow him at www.twitter.com/140Main and connect on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/danielkehrer.
Biz Best logo

Job growth has been gaining in the private sector for 39 consecutive months. How is that growth is happening? SCORE and Zipcar have put together this infographic to explain exactly how employment and hiring have grown after the recession. Learn how and why businesses are filling new jobs. Find out where companies are looking for quality candidates. Learn the role social media is playing during the hiring process.
Download the 2013 Small Business Employment and Hiring infographic now!


About the Author

Zipcar for BusinessZipcar is the world's leading car sharing network with operations in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain and Austria. Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to residents and businesses looking for smart, simple and convenient solutions to their urban and campus transportation needs. Zipcar is a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, Inc. Learn more at Zipcar.com.

Kombuchick Succeeds With Help From SCORE Mentor

Upon her graduation from Virginia Tech, Leslie Crews decided to upgrade her lifestyle and nutritional habits through new routines and by eliminating unhealthy elements in her diet.  She began brewing kombucha as a substitute to junk-food drinks of all kinds, and began taking her bottled kombucha to potlucks, socials, and other events.  It was a hit and soon she found herself receiving orders!  Kombuchick: A Kombucha Bar & Microbrewery Co. was not far behind.


See video
Leslie Crews
My Location
Norfolk VA
United States
Year Company Formed
My Successes

Kombuchick is a kombucha bar and microbrewing company. Kombucha is a nonalcoholic, probiotic fermented tea that has been touted for its numerous health benefits.  Kombuchick is one of a handful of kombucha microbreweries on the east coast; one of three registered Minority and Woman- owned kombucha companies in the region; and their goal is to become the Mid Atlantic region's premier female- owned kombucha microbrewery by 2015.

They have been able to spread their message and product through vending the nonalcoholic drinks at music festivals, parties and galas, trade shows, and other avenues - key pockets in the market discovered with the help of their SCORE mentor to be strategic for telling their story and selling their brew.

Buzz is certainly building around the business; it has recently been featured on BlissTree and in Veer Magazine's "Summer Beers/ Brews to Watch For" July 2012 edition.  Leslie says of this feature, “This juxtaposition of a non-alcoholic, woman-owned brewing company alongside prominent, male-dominated brewing icons was monumental for us.“

How SCORE Helped

Leslie says, “Through our relationship with our local SCORE office, we have been able to successfully set reachable yet challenging growth goals and benchmarks, have been able to expand our customer and networking base, and have helped to encourage young women in our community to follow their dreams. Kombuchick, with help from SCORE, has successfully been able to discover and fill our niche market within the urban scene of coastal Virginia, which has been the first step towards becoming the premier woman- and minority- owned kombucha company in the Mid Atlantic region.”

Steve Strauss, founder of www.theselfemployed.com, tells why the "reply all" option on your email may be dangerous and how to use it carefully.

Steve Strauss headshot After going back and forth trying to get an answer about a potential big gig from a very busy guy named James, a good friend of mine decided he needed some help. So he tried to shoot me an email, wanting my feedback as to what he should do next.

But instead of forwarding his correspondence with James to me, my friend mistakenly hit the dreaded “reply all” button:

About the Author

Steven D. Strauss is a lawyer and writer and is one of the country's leading experts on small business as well as an international business speaker. The best-selling author of 17 books, his latest is the all-new 3rd ed. of The Small Business Bible. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success Powered by Greatland, visit his new website for the self-employed, TheSelfEmployed, follow him on Twitter, and "like" TheSelfEmployed on Facebook. You can e-mail Steve at: sstrauss@mrallbiz.com. © Steven D. Strauss

Entrepreneur Loves to Accessorize - Steve Trainor

Thu, 2013-05-23 15:20

It just seemed to kind of fall into place for Grace Madison.

By the age of 24, she had worked retail, been a fashion model, helped place advertising, worked in customer service at APAC, did promotions for a hip hop-rap record label (G-UNIT), earned a Scott Community College degree in business management with a marketing certificate, and scored with SCORE.

She learned a great deal from several people in the SCORE program, citing retired executive Dan Lyphout of Davenport, in particular.

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