The United States has nearly 23 million small businesses owners, and about 500,000 new enterprises launch each year. These run the gamut from engineering firms to bakeries, from high-tech R&D laboratories to home based accountants, and from fashion design studios to popular restaurants. What does it take to start and manage a successful small business? At its most basic level, it requires research, planning, commitment and hard work-all of which are modeled by the truly dedicated, innovative and motivated entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are both dreamers who see all the possibilities and realists who recognize the truths and risks of building a viable enterprise. They know that not everything aspect of running a small business is glamorous, yet they also understand how each necessary task factors into profits, financial independence and personal satisfaction. If you are considering becoming your own boss, you can appreciate the need to gather information and obtain advice on entrepreneurship, even if you are already familiar with the nuances of running somebody else’s business. A good place to start is SCORE. “Counselors to America’s Small Business.” SCORE Grand Rapids provides workshops and has 35 knowledgeable business experts who have “seen it and done it” to assist in business planning as well as answering questions that will influence how your business will operate. SCORE counselors provide free, confidential counseling to help you develop, prepare and improve your business. The SCORE counselors are eager to share their insights and experience with those just starting out. You can access SCORE’s small business resources in a variety of ways. By visiting the SCORE Grand Rapids chapter office, you can have a face-to-face meeting with a SCORE counselor and take advantage of a wealth of reference materials on file. You can also find an online counselor to tap the knowledge our small business experts. Whether online or on site, your SCORE counselor will work with you to discuss the elements of a sound business plan and begin putting those ideas in writing. Remember that you are the decision-maker in your new enterprise. SCORE counselors are there to act as guides, advisors and information resources. To learn more about SCORE, call 1-616/771-0305 and talk to a SCORE counselor..
If you are ready to start a business or buy a business location, please “Ask SCORE” by doing so at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce or attend an “Overview for Planning and Starting Your Business” workshop in Grand Rapids. The SCORE workshop covers topics from how to register your business, marketing and sales, and financial information to seeking a business loan. The workshop has a small fee. To “Ask SCORE” there is no charge at anytime. For further workshop information, contact SCORE at their office, located in the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce facility, 111 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids, or call (616) 771-0305, or online at www.scoregr.org, or by e-mailing to email@example.com. To “Ask SCORE” in Rockford, contact the Rockford Chamber of Commerce at (616) 866-2000.