50+ Entrepreneurs

This thirty-two page primer on Cash Flow will help you understand and manage Cash Flow by explaining the working capital cash conversion cycle -- the cash flow cycle

Entrepreneur’s Guide: Starting and Growing a Business in Pennsylvania is a 108 page booklet filled with current information about free services, check lists, helpful tips and licensing procedures. Because the information in this guide is not intended to be the final statement on any subject, you will also find addresses, web sites and telephone numbers for contacting business-related agencies.

'Positive Doing' and a Mentor Help Chicago Condos Online Find Success

After 32 years as a magazine editor, Ric Cox had investments in nine Chicago-area condominiums. Not ready for retirement, Cox had an idea for ChicagoCondosOnline.com, a web site that would provide a wealth of data on the area’s condominiums.  After contacting SCORE, Cox was able to get the advice and resources he needed to make his ideal web site a reality.

Ric Cox
My Location
Chicago IL
United States
Year Company Formed
My Successes

Acting fast helped Ric land Midwest Real Estate Data, the regional multiple listing service, as his major client.  Volunteer mentor Jerry Hicks offered a valuable critique of Ric’s business plan, leading him to re-examine his strategy.

 “The improved business plan won me a $1,000 award from the City of Chicago and strategic advice from MBA candidates at the University of Chicago,” Ric says. 

ChicagoCondosOnline.com has become a valuable resource to Chicago’s real estate community. More than 40,000 agents and loan originators access the site regularly for information on more than 13,000 condominium buildings in Chicago. The business has also been featured in the Chicago Tribune, BusinessWeek, the Wall Street Journal and other publications. Waxman also continues to assist Ric as a member of ChicagoCondosOnline.com’s Board of Advisors.

What's Great About My Mentor?

Ric found the answers he was looking for, and much more, at Chicago SCORE’s downtown office. There, he was matched with volunteer mentor Elaine Waxman, the former owner of a real estate firm who had also held senior sales and management positions with one of the giants of the Chicago real-estate market.

“What a connection!” Ric says. “Elaine’s first recommendation was to complete the web site.  It was a big risk, but SCORE connected me with a web developer who saved me tens of thousands of dollars in development costs.”

How SCORE Helped

The fact that Ric has been successful is hardly surprising. He spent more than a decade working with Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, who advocated the “power of positive thinking.” But when it came to building a successful business, Ric found that SCORE offered the “power of positive doing.”

 “I’ve had a dozen sessions with mentors, not counting phone calls and e-mails,” Ric says. “We focused on strategic planning and marketing. It was all free! Who knows what this mentoring would cost on the open market.”

Simple Steps for Starting Your Business”


Is Starting a Business Right for You?

Attend this comprehensive series of workshops to help you test your new business idea and gets you started on the right path. Free one-to-one counseling is also a part of the workshop process.


Join us for five three-hour sessions that help you understand the basics of:

  • the concepts involved with assessing a business idea,

  • marketing your product or service,

  • understanding business financials and how they work, and

  • how to fund and finance your business.


Session 1: Start-up Basics (Free) , October, 25th 4 to 7pm

This introductory workshop focuses on the basics of testing your business idea and identifying the key factors that influence start-up success. Start-up Basics provides you with an overview of the skills and tools you need when deciding to start a business. In this session, you learn about: the advantages and disadvantages of owning a business, the most profitable form for your business, and the fundamentals of formation, organization, marketing, cash flow and funding sources.

Session 2: Business Concept, Nov  1st , 4 to 7pm

The second workshop focuses on your business concept and step-by-step guidance in researching your idea, your market, and your competition. At the end of the Business Concept workshop, you are able to: identify your target markets, describe your products and services, and collect key competitive information to support your feasibility plan.


Session 3: Marketing Plan, Nov 8th, 4 to 7pm

The third workshop provides you with an introduction to marketing communication methods and tools to maximize your customer reach. The discussion in the Marketing Plan workshop covers pricing strategies, positioning, the difference between features and benefits, and different marketing strategies. At the end of this session, you will know how to: outline your marketing strategy, test your marketing message, choose the right sales channel, and exercise your marketing strategy.


Session 4: Financial Projections, Nov 15th, 4 to 7pm

The fourth workshop uses exercises to help you better understand financial concepts. This session reviews sales and prices, financial risks and rewards, true start-up costs, ongoing operating expenses, setting benchmarks for tracking progress and the organization of all your financial information. Using a hands-on approach, you learn how to use our financial model to forecast sales revenue and build solid pro-forma financial forecasts.


Session 5: Funding Sources and Next Steps, Nov 22nd, 4 to 7pm

The final workshop offers information on how to finance your small business. In this session, discussions include sources of funds, accounting the six C's of credit, banking relations, ratio analysis, and monthly preparation and review of financial statements. A bank loan officer will give an inside view of how a banker assesses the merits of business plans and loan application. At the end of the series, you have all of the tools necessary to decide whether or not to launch your small business.


First session free. Attend all five for $125.00.


Register for Simple Steps for Starting Your Business in Fort Wayne, IN  on Eventbrite

Create A “Get Moving” Marketing & Sales Plan


Guide for a Marketing and Sales Plan

Want a plan that focuses your time and money?  Rather than complex, time-consuming, dust-collecting volumes, you need a plan that gives you structure and flexibility. You need a live guide that you can look to for direction, and also for options. In this webinar we will help you focus in the key actions and key measures that can help you guide your business into the New Year.

Developing a Customer Contact Plan


Regular, meaningful contact with customers and prospects should be the engine for generating new business for your company. But who has the time?  And what is the best way to communicate?  In this webinar we talk about ways to efficiently drive sales by “touching” Customers, Prospects and Referral Sources in a planned, focused approach.

Establishes client expectations from SCORE and what is outside the scope of our volunteers.

Questionaire for ascertaining the general overall business condition in terms of financial, management, marketing, and customer relationship strengths/weaknesses.

White Paper that addresses the prerequisite talents and traits for starting a business and describes the characteristics of a successful entrepreneurs.

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