WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 2022 - Owning and operating a successful small business is challenging in the best of times, but entrepreneurs who have business plans are twice as likely to obtain capital and are more likely to grow, according to SCORE, mentors to America’s small businesses and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“December is a great time for business planning – not just for new businesses but for existing businesses – so you can start fresh for the new year,” explains SCORE mentor Laura Rogers. As a banker and regional credit manager, Rogers notes that in today’s macroeconomic environment, small businesses need to be thinking ahead. She advises: “Interest rates are increasing and may continue to do so. Small businesses must account for that in their budgeting, and make sure they understand consumer spending habits, how they can change and how that can impact your business.”
For entrepreneurs who don’t know where to begin, SCORE offers business planning templates that include easy-to-follow instructions to consider the many aspects of running a business, anticipate challenges and develop strategies to succeed. Once complete, SCORE mentors are available to review plans, offer feedback and provide expert advice, all at no charge.
Last year alone, SCORE volunteers provided nearly 4.6 million hours of critical, timely mentoring and education, supporting clients in navigating funding options, finding customers, responding to economic challenges and adapting daily operations.
“Unfortunately, 20% of small businesses fail in their first year and 50% fail within the first five years. When small business owners think through key issues and work with a mentor, they are more likely to avoid common pitfalls and are three times more likely to stay in business,” according to SCORE CEO Bridget Weston.
While developing a business plan can seem overwhelming, the key is to just get started, says Kewaan Drayton, an entrepreneur and SCORE mentor with a decade of experience successfully launching his own ventures.
His advice: “Don’t wait. Take that first step, talk to the clients, start servicing them and figure out the requirements. Then it is a matter of following a business plan to guide your growth. Real-life experience helps you plan for what comes next. SCORE is here to hold your hand.”
Since 1964, SCORE has helped 11 million entrepreneurs start or grow a business. SCORE's 10,000 volunteers provide free mentoring, workshops and educational services to 1,500+ communities nationwide, creating 25,084 new businesses and 71,475 non-owner jobs in 2021 alone.
Funded [in part] through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
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