Q: What is SCORE?
A: The SCORE Association, "Counselors to America's Small Business", is a nonprofit association comprised of about 10,500 volunteer business counselors throughout the U.S. and its territories. There are 389 SCORE chapters in urban, suburban and rural communities. SCORE members are trained to serve as counselors, advisors and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. These services are offered at no fee, as a community service. SCORE was formed in 1964 and more than 7.5 million American small businesses have utilized SCORE services.
Mississippi River Valley SCORE which provides free counseling, resources and advice to people who are in business or want to start a business. Some seminars and workshops may charge a small fee to cover materials costs.
Q: Who are SCORE volunteers?
A: Most SCORE volunteers are retired business owners or managers, though some members still work. About 10,500 SCORE volunteers are members of 389 locally organized chapters offering assistance in almost 750 locations throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. The volunteers of Mississippi River Valley SCORE volunteers work in or near their home communities to provide management counseling and training to first-time entrepreneurs and current small business owners. They meet with clients at the SCORE chapter office, at satellite locations, or at the client's place of business.
Every effort is made to match a client's needs with a counselor who is experienced in a comparable line of business. All individual and team SCORE counseling is free; there may be a nominal fee for some workshops.
Q: What qualifies SCORE COUNSELORS to give business advice?
A: The key qualification SCORE counselors bring to clients is real-world experience. SCORE business counselors have general management and specific industry experience that can benefit your business. SCORE business counselors may be working or retired business owners, business executives or operations managers. All SCORE counselors receive specialized training in counseling and mentoring. The key qualification Mississippi River Valley SCORE counselors bring the table is real-world experience. SCORE Cleveland volunteers have specific industry and general business expertise. Counselors may be retired business owners, business executives or operations managers. Some of our volunteers work full-time.
Q: What kind of free business counseling does SCORE provide?
A: SCORE's experienced business experts provide general business advice on everything from how to write a business plan, to cash flow management, to developing a small business advisory board. Assistance for aspiring entrepreneurs may involve investigating the market potential for a product or service and assessing the capital needs to start a business. Counselors can provide insight into how to start a business, operate a business, buy a business or franchise and sell a business.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: There is no cost for individual counseling. Some workshops or seminars may have a small fee.
Q: How many free business counseling sessions am I entitled to?
A: You can come back for as many sessions as you wish. Each session will last for approximately one hour. Mississippi River Valley SCORE counselors are interested in your success and will follow up to see how you are progressing.
Q: Is my business eligible to receive free counseling?
A: Any American small business can obtain help from SCORE. Whether you are considering starting your own business, have a business that is experiencing problems, are ready to expand, or need some other type of advice, SCORE can help. The approach is confidential and personal. You don't need to be applying for or to have an SBA loan, to participate in the program. In fact, an idea is all that is necessary; consultation and counseling before a business start-up is an important part of SCORE's service.
Q: Are business secrets safe with SCORE?
A: Yes. All Mississippi River Valley SCORE counselors honor the client's right to proprietary and confidential information. Client information remains confidential. All SCORE counselors abide by an association Code Of Ethics, which includes protecting the confidences between client and counselor. Each year, counselors reaffirm their commitment to the Code Of Ethics.
Q: How can SCORE help my small business?
A: Score is dedicated to helping all current and potential business owners - women and men - realize their entrepreneurial dreams. Through individual counseling and group workshops, SCORE can help you with every phase of starting and growing a successful business. Women SCORE counselors also offer you a unique perspective as role models. From developing a business plan to getting financing, from management to expansion, SCORE is there to help - and it's free.
Q: Does this chapter of SCORE offer face-to-face and email (or cyber) counseling?
A: Yes, you may arrange face-to-face or email (cyber)counseling by going to our chapter website at: http://mississippirivervalley.score.org/ and selecting our Mississippi River Valley SCORE- La Crosse chapter. You may also arrange for a scheduled face-to-face counseling session by calling: (608) 784-4880
Q: What is email (or cyber) counseling?
A: Email counseling is an email exchange between you, a soon-to-be entrepreneur, or small business owner, and a volunteer SCORE business counselor. Email counseling gives you the opportunity to send email questions about small business to a SCORE counselor anywhere in the country. Just get email counseling to get business advice. Send a question and your SCORE counselor will reply with his or her answer. Keep the dialog going as long as you have questions for your business counselor.
Q: How does SCORE help women entrepreneurs?
A: SCORE is serving an increasing number of women entrepreneurs: over 40 percent of SCORE's individual counseling clients are women and more than 4,000 women a month attend SCORE workshops. Women now employ 11 million people and own one-third of the total number of businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Yet while women continue to open businesses at twice the rate of men, their average receipts are substantially lower. SCORE is working to change that.
Q: How can I contact SCORE for assistance?
A: You can contact SCORE a number of ways. You can call us at (608) 784-4880 and make a reservation to attend our monthly presentation session entitled "How to Really Get Your Business Started". You can register for Email (cyber) online counseling as well as face-to-face counseling by logging on to our Chapter website: http://mississippirivervalley.score.org/, and click on "Mentoring" La Crosse Face-to Face counseling is offered on Mondays between 1:00pm and 5:00pm