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Remember the “Why” When Starting Your Small Business

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2023 – To establish a successful small business, entrepreneurs should focus on what problem their service or product solves, according to SCORE, mentors to America's small businesses and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

Getting started 

Starting a business can be overwhelming, especially if you are the sole proprietor, and writing a business plan might not be the top priority on your to-do list. However, a business plan can do more than just outline action items and financial projections. It also demonstrates that your business should be taken seriously by funders, consumers and potential employees. 

SCORE client Iyobosa Ero (right) developed the Chicago-based online travel solution Preparture with support from SCORE mentor Steven Lome.

Business plan fundamentals 

Every entrepreneur needs a business plan, but where do you start? Cheri Bales, a mentor with SCORE Kalamazoo/Southwest Michigan, explained that the process doesn’t need to be complicated. “The important thing is to put something down on paper,” said Bales. A business plan is a starting point, and it can be as simple as a few jotted-down notes at first. The most crucial part of the plan is the reason behind the business itself.  

“Too often as business owners we talk about the what and sometimes we talk about the how but we don’t remember to talk about the why,” said Bales. “What problem or issue is your business or service going to solve?” Focusing on the “why” will allow you to set your business apart and demonstrate what you have to offer. 

Entrepreneurs seeking more information on business planning can view a free, recorded webinar led by Bales during the National Small Business Week Virtual Summit held earlier this month. Co-hosted by SCORE and the SBA, the online event also featured expert advice on topics ranging from how to use AI in email marketing to what small businesses should know to prepare for a recession. Registration is free to view any of the sessions on-demand. 

SCORE is here to help 

The good news is you don’t have to go it alone. SCORE mentoring is a free service available to any aspiring or established owner of a U.S.-based business. To find a mentor, SCORE’s website lists mentor profiles that detail the mentors’ areas of expertise, location and availability for online or in-person meetings. You can request an appointment with the mentor of your choosing, or if you prefer, SCORE’s “Mentor Matchmaker” service will do the matching for you based on your business, preferences or specific challenge you are facing. 

“When I first worked with SCORE, I had this idea for a business, but no idea where to start,” said SCORE client Iyobosa Ero, owner of online travel solution Preparture in Chicago. “My mentor has been very impactful with the development and continuous development of Preparture.”  

About SCORE: 

Since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 11 million entrepreneurs start, grow or successfully exit a business. SCORE's 10,000 volunteers provide free, expert mentoring, resources and education in all 50 U.S. states and territories. Visit SCORE at  

Funded [in part] through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.   




Visit  SCORE’s media resources to be connected with expert small business interview sources and news updates. 

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Copyright © 2024 SCORE Association,

Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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