|By Giorgio Cagliero|
Each year as the New Year rings in and SCORE looks forward to another successful year, it is with humble pride that we begin our column by answering this often asked question; “Who and what is SCORE”. The SCORE Association, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit association and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration. SCORE is dedicated to the education, growth and success of U. S. small businesses and non-profits. Nationwide, there are more than 10,000 businessmen and women, some retired and others still working, who volunteer their time to provide free counseling and business advice as a public service. These volunteers are located in some 390 chapters across all 50-states.
The main office of the Northern Arizona Chapter is located in Prescott and serves Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Cottonwood, Flagstaff, Sedona, Lake Havasu, Bull Head City and Kingman and all other surrounding communities. Our chapter currently has more than 30 active members with additional members in training. Two of our members specialize in counseling and developing strategic plans for non-profits. In 2011 Northern Arizona SCORE counseled 403 new clients and held 879 counseling sessions with existing clients. The Chapter held 47 workshops with 1668 attendees.
Our Management Counselors offer free confidential counseling to entrepreneurs seeking to start up a new business or non-profit or desiring to make improvements or changes to an existing one. Typical counseling areas include (1) beginning a business, including name and legal entity, (2) promoting, pricing and selling a product or service, (3) accounting and financial management techniques, (4) protecting intellectual property with patents, copyrights and trademarks, (5) hiring, training, compensating and motivating employees, (6) creating a Business Plan and finding financing, (7) complying with business and labor laws and regulations and, (8) using the Internet to promote business. Counseling on specific individualized issues is also offered to existing business owners.
Our local chapter’s SCORE Counselors typically offer one to two free business workshops each month on the subjects discussed above. Handout reference material is provided, and there is ample time for in-depth questions and answers. Starting in January, we will be offering a series of in-depth workshops that will take new business owners through the entire process of developing a complete business plan. There is a nominal charge for this series of classes. The fee will include the complete six-class series, a workbook, and individual counseling.
All our Management Counselors are experienced in one or more phases of business or non-profit management. Some have owned and successfully managed their own small businesses, some have marketing and sales backgrounds, others are experienced business planners or computer experts, and a few are former educators at the college level. No matter what our individual backgrounds, we all have one thing in common, our desire to help small businesses and non-profits succeed!
We invite you to start your business year off by visiting us, either in person or through our Web site, www.scorenaz.org, and explore how we can help you and your business grow and flourish.
If you have business experience and would like to help other small businesses and non-profits succeed, please contact our membership chair in the Verde Valley about becoming a volunteer SCORE counselor. Call Northern Arizona SCORE at 928-7787438 or email SCORE at firstname.lastname@example.org