Women Entrepreneurs

Online Workshop|How to Manage your Medical Bills

Summary

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.

We asked, you shared: These resources make you better businesswomen

Date
Fri, 2015-05-01 13:25

Here at Bizwomen, we've written a lot about business resources: from the traditional (mentors) to the new (Boss School) to the time-tested (these "Shark Tank" winners turned to SCORE).

But this week we wanted to hear from you, so we asked Bizwomen readers to share their go-to resources for entrepreneurial information and inspiration. Here were your replies. 

Evergreene Graphics

I began my business as a freelance graphic designer in 2000, operating part time while working full time and pursuing my master’s degree. I did no marketing or advertising, and all my clients came through word-of-mouth recommendations. I took a break in 2008 in order to complete my degree. When I decided to leave the corporate world, I revived the business in 2012.

http://www.egraphics.us/about-me-2/

Owner/Founder
Kimberlee Bush
My Location
Evergreene Graphics; 467 Cummings Road
Greene NY 13778
United States
Year Company Formed
2001
My Successes

My biggest success to date is operating my business with no reported losses for the first two years. While profits are minimal so far, sales doubled in my second year. My client base has grown to include businesses across the country, as well as the UK and Australia. My professional network has opened doors around the community, and my volunteer participation resulted in the 2015 Best in Class Builder Award from the Southern Tier Meet-up Group. I believe my dedication, enthusiasm and experience are the reasons I was recruited to become a SCORE mentor in 2014. I feel it’s important to give back to the organization that continues to assist me as I grow my business for the future.

What's Great About My Mentor?

I had two SCORE mentors that I met with regularly. Mike’s enthusiasm and energy for my ideas and progress were a key factor for my monthly return visits. He was always excited to see how I was doing, what new information I had uncovered, and his review of my financial picture was invaluable. Bill’s experience and advice kept me grounded and realistic. A main feature of Bill’s mentoring was challenging my ideas, encouraging me to evaluate everything, and consider different perspectives. We didn’t always agree, but that’s OK because I learned something from each exchange.

How SCORE Helped

Business Topics - Graphic Design, Print Media, Marketing & Branding Support

Entrepreneur Type - DBA / Sole Proprietor

Business Stage - In third year of operating full time

I started working with SCORE before I left my corporate job so I would have all the pieces in place to operate my business full time when I resigned. SCORE helped me fill in the gaps between operating as a freelancer to a sole proprietor. They assisted me with market research to understand my competition, how to set my prices, and which services to focus on first. They helped me in many additional areas: budgeting, elevator pitch, website review, client forms, and brochure and newsletter feedback, among others.

From year one to year two, I doubled my sales revenues, and the business is operating in the black, no losses to report at tax time.

"Kim started with us as a client and moved to being a mentor and a client at the same time, she continues as a client and mentor"

Education

Certifications and Degrees:

WBE Certified NYS

BFA Graphic Design SUNY

MS Print Media RIT

Sonoma Gnome

My Location
Santa Rosa CA
United States
How SCORE Helped

Rebecca’s path to becoming an entrepreneur began with the idea that she wanted to find a way to provide Sonoma County tourists "with unique, locally-made gift items, that were more interesting souvenirs than the typical 'Made in China' key chains."
 A gifted creative person with a solid sense of humor, Rebecca first started selling witty t-shirts for the holidays, such as the popular "I Believe in Santa...Rosa" shirts. Her next thought was to create a business around gnomes, (who are protectors of the earth), starting the Sonoma Gnome Company in 2013.
At this time she turned to SCORE, and began meeting with Counselor Dana Jacoby. "She was incredibly helpful as she made suggestions that I never would have thought of," Rebecca said. "I remember pausing after one idea and saying, Wow, what a concept!"
"It's great to have someone as a sounding board someone with decades of experience offering help. It's incredibly valuable," she said. "Dana was supportive, encouraging and positive in her comments and feedback to me. I have had the good fortune through SCORE of having my very own business mentor who has gone out of her way to listen and offer her perspective on my entrepreneurial anxieties and dreams."
Rebecca called SCORE a "gift to the community." Besides the one-on-one consulting, she said the workshops are extremely beneficial, especially for a start-up company.
"The classes are great for networking, as I met people who were very supportive and connected," she said. "As entrepreneurs, you often feel isolated.  The classes give you the opportunity to ask questions, get new insights and network."   
Rebecca said she also likes working with Dana because she is counseling a number of local sustainable businesses.  "She has the niche that’s showing the more hip, groovy side of SCORE."   
 She added that some people express concern that SCORE is filled with "old fuddy duddies." She sees SCORE as an incredible resource offering experienced business advice. "They're very consistent in what they offer: the advisors, classes and curriculum are extremely helpful,” she said. Rebecca’s bigger business vision involves a hospitality-based project, and she hopes that SCORE and mentor Dana Jacoby will be able to continue to assist her as she develops her concept. "It would be fantastic to achieve this lodging-based business goal with SCORE’s support!" 

Whitham Group

Owner/Founder
Carina Whitham
My Location
8130 Louisa Way
Windsor CA
United States
Employees
8
How SCORE Helped

Carina Whitham, Founder and President of the top Renewable Energy Executive Search Firm, Whitham Group, first approached SCORE about five years ago when she was just launching her company.
 
She discovered SCORE through an internet search for mentors. Carina said she was somewhat skeptical when she saw SCORE’s counseling was free. "I wondered if this will help me and would they have "A" players as consultants if there were no charge," she said. "I was pleasantly surprised as the counselors are informative and experienced."

"When I first met with Richard, he had me construct a business plan and a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis," she said. "He really made me do my homework."
 
As her company expanded, she continued to meet with Richard to discuss growth strategies. Today, she's very proud to say that Whitham Group has experienced phenomenal growth, has a staff of eight, and is extremely successful. "Now when I meet Richard, he tells me how he always knew I was going to make it," she said.

Hip Chick Farms

Owner/Founder
Serefina Palandech
My Location
335 Sexton Rd
Sebastopol CA
United States
How SCORE Helped

When Serefina initially envisioned her idea of offering a healthier line of chicken nuggets, fingers and meatballs, she turned to the internet for research. One of her first discoveries was SCORE.  She signed up for the five-week class on How to Start a Business, which she credits for getting her business on the right track.
 
Her next step was to meet with SCORE Mentor Richard Adler, who helped her develop a business plan and financial projections. Serefina also credits Mr. Adler with asking her about the "end game" i.e. where she wants to take her business: To keep it forever or sell it someday?
 
"We decided we wanted to be acquired, which changed a lot of our thinking,  for example, we decided to co-pack the products instead of building a factory," Serefina said.
 
As a result, she said Hip Chick Farms went from an idea to a national organic chicken producer, which is sold in Safeway, Whole Foods and other grocery chains. "Starting a business is fraught with challenges.  But with SCORE’s help we cemented our vision, had perseverance and never gave up," she said.
 
She said she continues to work with SCORE as the company is looking at adding staff, and is asking for help with hiring, benefits, etc.

Porteen Gear

Owner/Founder
Robyn Porteen
How SCORE Helped

My SCORE mentor (Dan Butler) helped me evaluate my business and move it forward.  I worked with SCORE to secure a micro-loan so I could buy new equipment and increase my marketing.  These changes have put me on a new business track. I am excited to see where this takes my business, as I anticipate expanded sales and higher earnings.  Thank you SCORE.

Nourish Organic Market & Deli

Owner/Founder
Sheri Rop
How SCORE Helped

SCORE helped us get QuickBooks up and running for our business.  Thanks to our mentor (Joe Mierendorf) we were able to install the program, input data, and run reports.  This has been a huge help.  Not only did we get assistance with QuickBooks, but we received useful operations suggestions, accounting 101 training, systems ideas, and information on tax considerations.  SCORE has had a big impact on the way we do day-to-day business. 

Big Joe's Bar and Grill

How SCORE Helped

My SCORE mentor (Richard McKenzie) helped me through the process of getting funding for our business.  He met with me several times, went over all my paperwork, and guided me along the way.  Anytime I called him, he was there!  He was a pleasure to work with, and I am very grateful for his help.

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