Women Entrepreneurs


            I’m a retired sales and marketing guy who’s recently purchased a local convenience store. What are some of the key numbers I should be monitoring to successfully manage the business’ finances?

About the Author

            This column is brought to you by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of SCORE, with nearly 70 current and former business executives available to provide free, confidential, one-on-one business mentoring and training workshops for area businesses. Call 603-666-7561 or visit merrimackvalley.score.org for information on mentoring, upcoming workshops and volunteer opportunities. SCORE is a national, non-profit organization and a resource partner of the U. S. Small Business Administration.

Buffalo Creative Group

Before the birth of her children, Leslie Taylor and her husband owned a freelance designed company. Six years and three children later, Taylor and her husband decided to end the business and move onto other ventures. However, Taylor, a multi-media designer with 15 yeas of experience producing various web-related and print work, knew she wanted to dive back into the business one day. 

After a year of planning and organizing, Taylor, along with two co-workers with backgrounds in marketing communications and design, decided to joined forces and create Buffalo Creative Group, a start-up that would allow them to build their freelance work.


Leslie Taylor
My Location
East Aurora NY
United States
Year Company Formed
My Successes

The company has seen success by building interest through Facebook by holding random drawings for those who follow the company's page. Buffalo Creative Group continues to work with new business locally and has expanded to working with clients in North Carolina, California, and the United Kingdom.

How SCORE Helped

SCORE assisted Leslie with creating a more useful, functional services contract that is now used with every new client. SCORE also assisted  Taylor with legal questions as well as pricing options for clients moving forward.

Workshop Poster Spring 2014 Low Resolution

Workshop Poster Spring 2014 High Resolution

A&E Audiology, Inc.

With a goal to "provide a full range of audiology and hearing aid services to patients in the Lancaster area", Dr. Kamal Elliot rented a small office space in Litiz, Pennsylvania nearly 14 years ago and A& E Audiology was created. Dr. Elliot saw the need for quality, local audiology services for patients that was more convenient, but still  provided exceptional services.

Equipped with the needed audiology training to provided customers with outstanding services but no business experience, Dr. Elliot turned to SCORE for help.


Kamal A. Elliot, Au.D
My Location
Lititz PA
United States
Year Company Formed
My Successes

A&E Audiology has grown into three full-time locations and has a staff of  five licensed audiologists along with a doctoral student.

A&E Audiology was voted "Best Place for Hearing Aids" in Lancaster County 7 years in a row. In 2013, A&E Audiology was also a "Readers' Choice Award Winner" for Lancaster Newspaper.


What's Great About My Mentor?

Dr. Elliot says she is indebted to her mentors and could have not started with help of Everett. "They are amazing, wonderful and knowledgeable, I'm indebted." When asked what she would tell others about SCORE, the audiologist said, " For me, it's been one for the most helpful resources when starting my business and now growing my business."



How SCORE Helped

Dr. Elliot was first paired with SCORE mentor Everett Williams. Williams walked the doctor through the appropriate steps of setting up a  practice, how to write a business plan, along with other business logistics.

With the help of SCORE, A&E Audiology was off to a good start and thriving. After expanding to two locations with new employees, Dr. Elliot was finding it a bit tough managing every aspect of the business. After learning that one of her patients had recently joined SCORE, Dr. Elliot turned to SCORE again for some guidance.

This time, the doctor was paired with mentor Jerry Glenn after learning that her previous mentor had relocated to Virginia.

Glenn helped the doctor develop a better financial plan by evaluating her business and working with the business budget. Glenn also pulled a group of SCORE mentors together to brainstorm with Dr. Elliot on ways to drive more business to her organization within the next two quarters.

Circle Studio

When my business partner, Kari Koch, opened Circle Studio: Pilates and Gyrotonic in 2006 she came to SCORE for help with managing 6 staff members, a quickly growing clientele and all aspects of day to day operations that were both exciting and overwhelming for a brand new business owner.

Kari credits SCORE for 6 successful years, which included weathering a recession, but ultimately building a thriving business and strong team.

When Kari had a baby in 2012, she asked me to partner with her so that she could continue with the business, but have time to spend with her new family. Kari had such a great experience at SCORE that of course we used them to help us with details of solidifying the partnership; guiding us to take the steps necessary to build a strong foundation and see our staff through the change.

I continued working with a mentor (and still do!) and taking classes at SCORE to build my management skills, learn more about business and educate myself to be a better business partner and owner. What I got was so much more than that.

Kari and I both love Pilates and Gyrotonic because they help keep our clients strong, balanced and aligned; informing all aspects of their daily lives. But you need more than passion for what you do to be a successful business owner.

Discover Circle Studio at www.circlestudio.biz.

See video
Kari Koch / Lynnea Amend
My Location
1231 NW 11th Ave
Portland OR 97209
United States
Year Company Formed
My Successes

When I first began working with a mentor; I was in a word, terrified. It was such a big investment and decision; I felt anxious and lost. My mentor and the other incredible volunteers at SCORE met my determination with their own to help me learn basic business and staff management tools. These men and women have a wealth of experience and personal success that is shared with unbelievable compassion and dedication. I incorporated their suggestions into my work and I began to feel more confident and capable.

Kari and I began meeting with a mentor together in addition to my individual sessions to help us thrive as partnership. Today we have 10 happy, successful employees, a strong client base, and a wonderfully supportive partnership that uses our strengths and differences for our benefit.

What I would suggest to any new or potential business owner is this: go to SCORE and put in the work to build a strong foundation for your business, take their suggestions and use your passion to create a thriving business.

As an owner I am becoming more balanced, strong and centered every day just as I do from my work in Pilates and Gyrotonic; all thanks to SCORE.

Cash Flow Template in Excel 

Short Business Plan Template in Word


             I’ve been an independent media and public relation consultant for almost a year. As a first-time self-employed tax filer, what business deductions am I entitled to?


About the Author

         This column is brought to you by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of SCORE, with nearly
70 current and former business executives available to provide free, confidential, one-on-one
business mentoring and training workshops for area businesses. Call 603-666-7561 or visit
merrimackvalley.score.org for information on mentoring, upcoming workshops and volunteer

One of the most common business structures used to start a business is the sole proprietorship. But sole proprietorships/Doing Business As (DBAs) aren’t popular because they’re essential or even helpful—it’s because they’re simple to form. There’s no formal action required to start a sole proprietorship, and many people own them without even knowing it. For example, if you were to start building and selling rowboats out of your garage, you would be a sole proprietor. There is legally no distinction between the business and you, the owner. Sole proprietorships are formed automatically—all you need to do to form one is sell something. In many cities, states, and counties, you can register a Sole Proprietorship business name (aka: a DBA) for as little as $5. But with a sole proprietorship/DBA, you reap all the profits and you carry the weight of all your debts, losses, and liabilities. 

About the Author

Drake Forester, Chief Legal Strategiest - Northwest Registered AgentDrake Forester is the chief legal strategist at Northwest Registered Agent, LLC. Throughout his career, Drake has researched many complicated nonprofit compliance issues and provided whitepaper and publications for many leading nonprofit organizations in the United States.

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