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S.C.O.R.E. Counseling

High Quality Advice at NO Cost

SCORE Overview:

SCORE, the nation's largest volunteer business counseling service, is a nonprofit association dedicated to help those in business, about to start one, or just thinking about it. Founded in 1964, SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Over 50 counselors participate in Boston's SCORE chapter and their combined experience and knowledge could match most Business School faculties. The confidential counseling is FREE plus there are modestly priced seminars in the Greater Boston area. Our primary goal is to create an on-going relationship with small business entrepreneurs to help them make good business decisions to foster successes, which lead to profits.

Seek Out SCORE Counseling:

SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" can be one advisor that entrepreneurs turn to for real world advice that is based on the experience of managing and leading companies-both large and small. More than 11,200 SCORE Volunteers nationwide donate their time and talent to mentor small business. Boston's SCORE office, which has a branch at the Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce, has 55 volunteers with skills in marketing, finance, consulting and many other forms of business, all willing to help you succeed in a new or old venture. SCORE business counselors volunteer their time as confidential and impartial advisors that you can turn to for business mentoring. A SCORE business counselor can help you think through business challenges and opportunities. SCORE advisors can assemble a counseling team with experts from different disciplines to help you get advice on topics from finance and marketing to operations. And the time you spend with a SCORE counselor is free!

Who Are SCORE Volunteers?:

SCORE'S volunteers are retired and working business managers and owners who have enjoyed business success and want to help you succeed with the benefit of their skills, knowledge and success experience. All SCORE volunteers are guided by a Code of Ethics to protect your privacy. We keep your counseling sessions strictly confidential-our only allegiance is to helping small businesses succeed. You can meet with SCORE just once or on an ongoing basis. If you have simple business question or just want an explanation of how a cash flow statement works, we can provide you with the answers. However, you can really get the best value from SCORE if you set up a series of meetings to talk about a business problem or opportunity. Whether business counseling is one meeting or several sessions, SCORE provides this mentoring at no cost to you.

Services Offered By SCORE:

SCORE's web site, www.score.org, has a wealth of information and hot links to help entrepreneurs. SCORE also offers online business counseling through the web site. Click on Ask Score and enter key words about a business topic or problem. Our online skills database will retrieve mini-resumes of our counselors that you think is a good match and e-mail your question. It's as simple as that! Many people ask how can SCORE mentors America's entrepreneurs free-of-charge. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration-the SBA, The U.S. Congress, through SBA, provides SCORE with a grant to help operate SCORE Chapters, so SCORE can advise entrepreneurs. SCORE and the SBA have partnered since 1964. SCORE also raises funds in the community to help cover the expense of running a local office.

SCORE Website:

First, the SCORE web site, www.score.org, has dozens of small business articles. You can also visit the site to sign up for one of e-mail newsletters. Second, the U.S. Small Business Administration web site, http://www.sba.gov, has many "how to" resources and articles. Plus, the SBA site features a great deal of information about the SBA's guaranteed loan programs. This information is valuable if you are seeking an SBA-backed loan. Banks make the loans, which follow guidelines for approval from the SBA. Small businesses that want to seek SBA guaranteed loans should visit www.sba.gov and click on "Financing Your Business".

How To Really Start Your Own Business Workbook:

Finally, SCORE offers a start-up business workbook called How to Really Start Your Own Business. This work- book is a great tool for new businesses, because it takes you through the process of thinking through business ideas and developing a business plan. There are many small businesses that are operating without a written business plan. This workbook can also help busy small business owners get their thoughts on paper, so there really is a plan in place for the business. Whether or not you are doing business with a bank, a plan helps guide you the maize that operating a small business loans. Meet with a SCORE counselor and get a free copy of this workbook to help you plan for success.