Women Entrepreneurs

Due Diligence Checklist

Due Diligence Checklist

Article and tips on marketing

Article and tips on marketing

How to set up a non profit

How to set up a non profit

Screening test for startup

Screening test for startup

How to look at costs

How to look at costs

The selection of a business entity (form) will affect your exposure to personal liability, how you draw profits and pay taxes, your ability to raise capital, how you run your business, and how difficult it is for business reporting.

Generally, all businesses fall into one of these broad categories: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Corporation, or Corporation.

A sole proprietorship is an unincorporated business owned by one individual. A partnership is a legal entity existing between two or more persons who join to carry on a trade or business.

If financial problems have overwhelmed your finances, Bankruptcy may be an option.  Read some of the basics here.

http:// http://www.nhbar.org/for-the-public/bankruptypamphlet.asp

SCORE Mentor Helps Bellyrub Klub Find Success

Jobs beget jobs. When the Bellyrub Klub created eight new jobs to provide doggie day care in Lombard, a western suburb of Chicago, owners of the dogs were able to hold jobs they might not otherwise have been able to take. Sue Aikman is happy to make this leveraged contribution to our struggling economy with her growing business. And she is grateful to Bruce Zimmerman and Lee McFadden from SCORE for mentoring her through the process over seven sessions held over the past two and a half years.

“When I initially met with Lee and Bruce, I had started promoting canine care and training from my house and had developed a fairly sizable client base by word of mouth,” Sue said. “When I leased my first space for the business, I had to begin managing my time more effectively. No longer was I able to just say yes to everyone’s request. I had to start planning, putting costs together, hiring staff, creating pricing guidelines, defining services, making drop off and pick up schedules, etc.”

Sue quickly outgrew her first space and found a larger one that required a significant build out. “Lee and Bruce knew I was in desperate need of help managing finances, determining what services I could financially support, making budgets and business plans, and preparing loan documents for the bank. As they helped me prioritize, I was learning how to work ON the business instead of IN the business. They were also very good at holding me accountable.”

The Bellyrub Klub continues to grow, and Sue who comes from a computer consulting background, has proven to be a quick study as well as a dog lover. She is active in the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, the Animal Behavior College as an ABC Mentor Trainer, and the Delta Society with two dogs on a Therapy Dog Team.

Sue now does a lively business in dog-related retail items, as well as dog-specific seminars and workshops. Her new facility even provides for overnight boarding. And she uses an e-mail newsletter to offer canine tips and promote an imaginative stream of special offers and events.

“Lee and Bruce are always just a phone call or e-mail away,” Sue said, “and it’s comforting to know that. I expect to need them for a while to come and hope that someday I can do for someone else what SCORE has done for me.”

Sue Aikman
My Location
612 E. Western
Lombard IL 60148
United States

IRS Tax Center:  Employee vs Independent Contractor

It is important you understand the rules for an employee versus who may be an Independent Contractor.  The IRS defines it on this site.


IRS Tax Center:  Frequent Questions

This page has a lot of the key questions we hear.  Check it out.


IRS Tax Center:  Forms & Publications

You no longer need to visit the IRS to find the forms you need!


IRS Tax Center:  Key Business Taxes

Here are the main types of taxes you need to think about.   Some depend on what business structure you choose.


IRS Tax Center:  Starting a Business

Taxes are an important part of your new business.  The IRS works hard to help.  If you do the right things, you'll save money and hassles.


Casauri Inc. Finds Success With SCORE

In 1999, Emily McHugh needed one more class to finish her master's degree in business at Columbia University. The course—"Managing New Business Ventures"—required her to write a business plan for a new enterprise. While searching for a topic, Emily noticed that most of her classmates used the same black laptop cases for their laptops. On the other hand, Emily had a more stylish case that her sister, Helena, had made for her. "People were always complimenting Helena's bag," Emily recalls. "So, I developed a plan for a company that would make laptop and Palm Pilot cases, and custom logo handbags."

Emily and Helena McHugh
My Location
Fort Pierce FL
United States
Year Company Formed
My Successes

Emily got an "A" in the class and idea for starting a real business with her sister. She was unsure about pursuing it, however, because the real world of business is much different than a class assignment. "But when you wake up in the morning and in the middle of the night, and all you can think about is this business idea, that may be a clue that you should pursue it," Emily says.

Casauri has come a long way from Emily McHugh's class project, and there are still many steps ahead on this entrepreneurial journey. Whenever Emily needs help with a decision, she goes right to her team of small business experts at SCORE. "They are just like an advisory board for us," she says. "You can bounce ideas off them and get tangible feedback. If they didn't know the answer, they always guide me to someone else who does." Casauri relocated to Florida in July 2004 and continues to expand its sales and line of bags.

Casauri continues to grow and thrive, and the savvy business owners take advantage of all resources available to them. In 2010, they received an ARC loan from SBA. They also maintain contact with their SCORE mentors and tap them for advice as needed. In fall 2009, they got e-commerce advice from a SCORE mentor.

Another reason Causari, Inc. has maintained momentum on a growth trajectory is by using broadband, which they see as a crucial element of their business model. “Without broadband, our time was spent in utter frustration and total inefficiency,” adds McHugh. “Broadband access is as basic as electricity and running water. I firmly believe that every small business–make that human being–should have access!!”

What's Great About My Mentor?

As part of her project research, Emily had learned about many SBA programs, including SCORE. She visited Newark, NJ SCORE Chapter and began meeting with Volunteer Mentor Lou Zivi, who counseled her on business start-ups, setting priorities, and obtaining financing. Emily also had several sessions with Dan Frisch, a former accountant, who helped fine-tune her business plan.

A year into her business start-up project, Emily met SCORE Mentor Stephanie Farrar, an instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. "It was wonderful to work with someone directly involved with the fashion industry," Emily says. "She offered many ideas on the creative side, and encouraged me to attend seminars and other meetings where she would introduce me to her industry contacts."

As the McHugh sisters began putting the pieces of her new enterprise together, Emily began seeking help on specific business issues from SCORE experts. When a fellow alumnus helped Emily identify an overseas manufacturer, SCORE Mentors Peter Nachburg and David Malka provided help with international trade and shipping issues. For marketing guidance, Emily relied on Mentors Al Pearl and Marvin Solomon. Former attorney Joseph Horowitz reviewed contracts and provided legal advice. And whenever she was at the SCORE office, Marvin Strauss always made time to check up on her progress.

How SCORE Helped

With SCORE's help, Emily and Helena had everything ready to debut their line of designer laptop and palm computer cases in time for the start of the December 2001 holiday shopping season. Their products can be found in several stores and boutiques in New York City, including Bloomindales and Sony Style.

“When I first started my business SCORE helped me in many ways, from preparing my business plan to applying for a loan. Now ten years later, my current SCORE mentor has helped me to clarify and focus on our core value proposition in order to maximize our web presence and better reach our target market online. SCORE provides and adds significant value throughout the entrepreneurial spectrum.” says Emily McHugh.

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