Minority Entrepreneurs

I’m considering purchasing a local, long-established dance studio. I have the training and skills to run it, but have never bought a business before. What advice can you give me? 

          Buying an existing small business can expedite one’s way into entrepreneurship. All the upfront effort has been taken care of, as has much of the learning curve. And with staff and resources already in place, you may think stepping in and taking over is all there is to it.

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. 

Business Technology - Finances (4 of 4)


Business Technology - eMarketing


Business Technology - Websites


Immigrant Entrepreneurs Help Fuel Record Growth Streak

Fri, 2015-02-06 05:40

If the U.S. jobs data released on the first Friday of every month is starting to sound like a broken record, it's because records continue to be broken.

SCORE helps entrepreneurs start and grow businesses

Fri, 2015-02-20 06:00

YaYa LeGrand had been running her wholesale, private-label wine distributor for several years when she realized she could use some professional insight to take it to the next level.

Sales were strong for the North Miami company. LeGrand knew effective marketing and social media would help elevate her brand in the local market, but she was leery of investing big dollars to hire a marketing firm. Then last year, she heard about a business branding workshop hosted by SCORE, the Service Corps of Retired Executives.

Business Technology Program - Overview Webinar (1 of 4)


This narrated PowerPoint video provides an overview of the benefits and features of using current technology to improve your small business.  It is the first in a four-part series originally developed to provide SCORE volunteers with an overview of current technologies in order to better guide their small business clients.  However, the perspective of the narration in these videos has been changed to be appropriate for viewing directly by small business owners and managers.

Online Workshop|How to Manage your Medical Bills


David Holt, attorney and SCORE mentor, and David Dubé, sales consultant and entrepreneur, present their ideas on how to take control of your medical bills.  They present ways to manage the fact that you have a medical bill that you can't pay.

Visiting Nurse Services of Central Florida

“No one believed in us initially,” Ms. Patterson stated, “Our friends and family told us we were crazy to follow our dream—to move to a new state, with no friends or family for support.”  We remained steadfast and kept moving forward, all the while working full-time jobs.

“There are many steps involved in launching this type of business. The three biggest hurdles”, according to Ms. Marshall, “involve achieving Home Health Accreditation, raising start-up and working capital, and then the agonizing wait for Medicare/Medicaid/HMO certification and licensing for automated billing.”

In June, 2014 Visiting Nurse Services celebrated their grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony at their Wildwood offices.  Their dream was finally becoming a reality. Today, the company has a burgeoning case load and the co-owners continue to add and train new staff as the demand dictates.

In November, Ms. Marshall and Ms. Patterson achieved another goal.  They relocated their offices to a Villages address so their young children could take advantage of The Villages Charter School System.  

This article about Visiting Nurse Services of Central Florida appeared in The Daily Sun newspaper on May 22, 2015.

Carol Patterson and Shakerah Marshall
My Location
8489 SE 165th Mulberry Lane
The Villages FL 32162
United States
Year Company Formed
My Successes

As Visiting Nurse Services of Central Florida grows, the focus is now on Continuous Process Improvement in all areas of the operation, and incorporating Social Media for promotion and client/patient feedback.  “We love what we do”, states Ms. Patterson; “We put people first.”

How SCORE Helped

In late 2012, two Jamaican registered nurses, living in New York decided they wanted to start a Home Health Company. Carol Patterson and Shakerah Marshall did some research and determined that the state of Florida would be business friendly and also represented a substantial market for Home Health.  In early 2013 with small children in tow, they relocated to Central Florida and began working as registered nurses in a Villages hospital while they began planning the launch of their home health business.

Carol and Shakerah reached out to SCORE early in 2014 and first spoke to SCORE mentor Bob Wilson who recommended they speak to Linda Pickwick, another SCORE mentor with extensive background in the Home Health Industry.  Linda has helped them add marketing, sales, and customer service skills to their considerable nursing background.

Download the slides for the presentation here.

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