SCORE Success Vault

Words of Wisdom: Startup Planning

SCORE chapters across the nation recruit experienced, passionate business experts to provide volunteer advice and mentoring to small business owners in the community.

Read below for expert tips from just a few of the thousands of SCORE volunteer mentors helping entrepreneurs realize their business goals and dreams.

Have a question? Need advice? Get in touch with a SCORE mentor near you today! .

Read more in the SCORE Success Vault!

  • Do what you do well.
  • Let people know you do it well.
  • Manage the enterprise.
  • No family or friends in business.

Art Henrie
Bucks County SCORE (#570)
Bucks County, PA

  • Keep costs low.
  • Get as much free help as possible from competent individuals.
  • Keep in touch with SCORE advisors.
  • Do a Business Plan (as soon as possible).

Bruce Mitchell
Montgomery County SCORE (#513)
Montgomery County, PA

For this economy and for those who are not "naturally born" entrepreneurs, I am currently recommend a new philosophical position and design. It's called "Second Job." The basic structure requires acknowledging that most people want employment. Many are coming to SCORE and considering entrepreneurship as a last resort.

The "second job" concept supports this reality, often linked to scarce resources. When you’re in fear, you can ease into business by creating Plan B - a startup business. You create an action plan for this business, without dousing hopes for eventual return to employment. Plan B provides a backup and possibly future income and freedom from a job.

Jacquelyn Martin
San Diego SCORE (#140)
San Diego, CA

  • Your revenue will be less and slower in arriving than anticipated and your expenses greater and due sooner than planned.
  • A business plan "in my head" is not a plan.
  • Have more education/experience/expertise than you think you will ever need, then continue to increase all three.

N. Gail Weinrich
SW Illinois SCORE (#423)
Godfrey, IL

Be aware of the many diverse disciplines necessary to operate a company. Even the smallest company constitutes a collection of people with diversified skills and backgrounds. The development of any company begins with an idea and a product or service to sell. Without prior experience in this particular marketplace it would be impossible to establish a business plan. In fact two business plans should be prepared.

One plan should be conservative and should include all of the possibilities of failure that one can perceive. The other business plan should be moderately aggressive but should not be used for the pursuit of financial backing; rather, it should be used to create confidence to the parties because the mental stress to create a new company that one is personally financing is tremendous.

Robert Perry
SCORE Birmingham (#84)
Birmingham, AL

  • Be experienced in the field.
  • Have a very strong work ethic.
  • Know the technical work thoroughly.
  • Know the market.
  • Have enough money.
  • Have complete family support.
  • Have no involvement with financial partners.
  • Be willing to work 24/7.
  • Be willing to learn.
  • Learn to depend only on yourself.

Rudy Cherkasky
SCORE Fox Cities (#382)
Appleton, WI

  • Make sure you have the proper location for your type of business and be sure you have sufficient planning.
  • You must have at least 3-5 years of experience in the business you plan to open and the proper employees.
  • Owning a business takes many hours a day, possibly 8-12 or more than just being an employee.

Sam Dubinsky
Houston SCORE (#37)
Houston, TX

I recommend a system that works for serious and hopeful clients. Basically and initially there is ONE Purpose (Take Action!) and THREE Questions:

  • Where do you want to do or where do you want to go?
  • How are you going to get there?
  • What actions are you going to take?

This is evaluative and provides vital feedback that leads to a conversation and mindset to think and plan strategically.

Jacquelyn Martin
San Diego SCORE (#140)
San Diego, CA

Read more SCORE Words of Wisdom!