Published May. 13, 2011
Handbook for Small Business - Comprehensive Guide to Starting and Managing a Business on Cape Cod & the Islands - available exclusively from Cape Cod SCORE
Handbook for Small Business
The “Handbook for Small Business” is available exclusively from Cape Cod SCORE and is offered as a valuable resource to enhance your Mentoring Sessions and Workshops. Please consult your SCORE Mentor for details.
New Client-Focused Website, Brand and Mentor Training Program Will
Leverage SCORE’s Success – Grow 1 Million Successful Small Businesses By 2017
…Skip the Social Media Hype
Social media hype has hit epic proportions. The promise of its ability to make a success of even the shabbiest business model is everywhere. Business owners are no longer asking, “Should I run an ad in the newspaper or on Google?” They want to know, “Should I be on Facebook or LinkedIn?”
Discussion forums have been around a long time – so long that they may be overlooked for their power in connecting and networking. So first a little review on discussion forum terms and structure:
Published May. 8, 2011
All entrepreneurs should write a business plan, but if you are trying to raise investment
capital, a written plan that conveys your vision to potential investors is a must.
The truth is that many successful businesses were started without business plans. While that may be fine for the likes of a few people, it’s generally not a good idea. If you're going to start a business, the smartest approach is to write a business plan.
The Business Plan
A business plan provides you with a comprehensive, detailed overview of all the aspects of your business. This overview is the skeleton of your business—the underlying structure that provides the basis of your entire operation. Prepared in advance, a business plan allows you to review the pros and cons of your proposed business before you make a financial and emotional commitment to it.
There are three reasons to create a written business plan:
Many aspiring entrepreneurs dream of running successful small businesses from their homes. Harriett McFeeley has taken the concept one step further, turning her family’s 2.5-acre property in Hastings, Nebraska, into Country Meadows, a beautiful location for staging weddings, family gatherings and other special events.
Over the years, Harriett and her husband, Dick, planted numerous trees, created intricate rock and flower gardens, and added several water features such as ponds, waterfalls and a stream around their family home. In 1999, friends began asking Harriett if they could “borrow” her unique garden for social events. Suddenly, the opportunity to start a business became clear.
“I’d been frantically searching for some kind of home-based business because I could no longer work outside the home and properly care for my ailing mother,” Harriett says. “This was definitely the answer to a prayer.” Harriett adds that while she had no business plan, no finances and no business management experience, “I did the only thing I could do—open the doors and go to work.”
Country Meadows began attracting customers, but Harriett and Dick knew that more people needed to know about their special oasis. Learning about marketing was one of their motivations to enroll in a SCORE-sponsored small business workshop in 2003. “The publicity element was very important because we don’t have a large budget for advertising,” Harriett says. “Most people find out about us through word-of-mouth.”
What's Great About My Mentor?
Central Nebraska SCORE Mentors Bob Portwood and Jim Svoboda, both of whom had backgrounds in marketing and retail sales, subsequently met with the McFeeleys to develop business and marketing plans, identify their trade area and target audience, and provide cost-effective ideas for enhancing Country Meadows’ visibility.
Portwood and Svoboda also provided suggestions for Country Meadows’ logos and slogans such as “Let us simply amaze you!” and “The Perfect solution for your Unique Event.” “Bob and Jim offered positive, helpful, practical advice whenever we needed it,” Harriett says. “They also gave us a lot of referrals—something that we really appreciated.”
How SCORE Helped
Harriett is confident that more people will be able to enjoy the special Country Meadows experience, thanks in large part to the help she received from SCORE. “Bob and Jim really knew what they were talking about,” she says. “They had worked in marketing their entire careers, yet were happy to take time from retirement sharing advice and ideas with us.”
Washington, D.C. — SCORE, America’s premier source of free and confidential small business advice for entrepreneurs, announces that Robbin Block of Seattle, WA, appears as a SCORE guest blogger in May. Visit the SCORE Small Business Success Blog at http://blog.score.org/ to view her posts.
Tour Provides Boost for Small Business Owners Nationally with Coaching Program and Workshop Series
New York City – SCORE and American Express OPEN announce the 2011 schedule for “Small Business High Speed Growth,” a multi-city tour designed to help small business owners develop strategies to and provide them with educational and coaching programs to identify new opportunities for business growth.