Chamber Offers Free Business Mentoring with SCORE

Do you want to start a business? Do you need assistance getting started? Do you already own a business but could use help in a specific area?

The Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce is happy to announce the reestablishment of the SCORE Counselors to America’s Small Business group (formerly known as Senior Corp of Retired Executives)! This group is made up of both working and retired executives that are willing to donate their time to help current and future business owners succeed.

SCORE offers the nation’s largest network of free, expert business mentors. If you’re just starting a business, SCORE mentors can provide the practical action plan, education and tools you need to open your doors and establish a customer base. Already own a business? SCORE volunteer mentors can help identify ways to increase profit, improve employee and customer satisfaction, and achieve work / life balance. Whether you’re a solopreneur, a nonprofit, a franchisee, a veteran, an independent contractor, a woman- or minority-owned business, or a young or encore (50+) entrepreneur, SCORE can help by providing guidance and resources to help with your decisions.

SCORE volunteer advisers offer expertise in a variety of fields and industries. Get free, customized, business advice from mentors committed to helping you succeed. With SCORE, you can have the honest, confidential and sometimes tough conversations about managing money, motivating your team, and other business topics. Every year, SCORE volunteers help thousands of entrepreneurs start small businesses and achieve new levels of success in their existing businesses.

The Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce is also looking for additional mentors; are you interested in becoming a SCORE volunteer? Volunteering at SCORE is a way for you to give back to your community, connect with fellow business owners, and pass on your knowledge and expertise to the next generation of entrepreneurs in your community.

SCORE volunteers provide confidential business mentoring services, both in person and online. They lead seminars and workshops to help small business owners meet their goals and achieve success. They help expand outreach of SCORE through marketing and alliance building in our local communities. They provide subject matter expertise by industries and professional skills.

Volunteering as a SCORE mentor means you are joining a community of 11,000+ diverse volunteers who are all committed to helping small business owners succeed. Whether you have owned your own small business, come from a Fortune 500 company, retired, college student, have a sincere commitment for helping small businesses or volunteering, there is a place for you as SCORE volunteer. As demand for the program increases, so will the need for volunteers.

SCORE mentors can be your confidant, your cheerleader and your accountability partner on your path to achieving success, so whether you are interested in business mentoring or volunteering, please call the Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce at 231-796-7649.

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8 Tips for Launching a Successful Home Business

Woman using laptop in cafe

Could you be setting your home business up for failure? While you are sitting at home on your laptop responding to emails and serving clients, are you being sidetracked by all the pitfalls and distractions in your home? Here are a few tips that will ensure that you stay focused on your business while working from home.

1. Create An Office

It is easy to end up working on the couch, watching television, while running your business from home on your laptop. As a business owner this is not the ideal setup for someone who plans to succeed. Creating a designated office space will provide you with a better working environment with less distractions. You don’t have to have a spare room in your house to convert to an office. A section of a room will do or even a closet.

2. Set Office Hours Ground Rules

Often times while working at home, you end up running errands, cooking for your family, dealing with the cable man, or folding laundry. Sit down with your family and create office hour rules. Your family needs to respect the fact that you will be working from home. Explain that you want to focus on work during certain hours of the day, and let them know when you will become available to them.

3. Provide Child Care Assistance

Having children around while working on your business can lead to you being unfocused. If you have little children they may try to get your attention by tugging on your clothes or crawling in your lap. Hiring a babysitter or putting the children in daycare for a few hours will help you divide your time and focus on one task at a time.

4. Treat It Like A Real Business

Many people don’t consider a home-based business as being a real job. Treat your business like a real job, invest in something like a professional website and the right business structure to ensure that you succeed.

5. Friend Times VS. Work Time

We all have that one friend that likes to come visit us while we are at work. Let your friends know that you are running a home business but you don’t want them showing up uninvited to gossip on their lunch break or to have coffee. They need to respect your business hours just like your family members.

6. Have An Occasional Get Away

We tend to stay isolated when working from home. Get out and surround yourself with others, it’s good for you. Try attending local business networking events each month. Networking can possibly provide you with new business. Working from your local coffee shop from time to time could be a great way for you to treat yourself after working so hard from home.

7. Grow Your Skills

Stay up to date with your business skills. Read blogs, books, magazines, and even take online webinars, or face to face education course.

8. Build Your Online Community

Connect with other entrepreneurs who work from home to avoid the feeling of isolation. With the use of social media and online forums you can connect with individuals in your field.

  • Remember to set your business up for success by giving it your attention and avoid distractions.

Kind Regards