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.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Business

business open

Are you thinking about bringing your new business plan to life? Did you recently present a grand opening event at your new local shop? While starting your first business, you are likely to make some mistakes during your new journey. How awesome would it be if you were informed about some of these possible mistakes so that you could avoid them? Here are five errors you can avoid just by knowing about them:

1. Not Thinking Through Your Business Name

As a new business owner it is important to make sure others in your industry aren’t using the same business name. Spend the necessary time to come up with a few memorable names and do your research. You want your business to appear at the top of search results, no one wants to find their business eight pages later on google. Your name should be classic, easy to spell and memorable.

2. Not Having A Website

Half of small businesses don’t invest in making a website. In this day and age, social media usage is growing more and more. Your business can’t afford to not have a website. Creating your own personal website can cost you a little to nothing. Search the web for template site builders (wix.com, weebly.com, or wordpress.com just to name a few) or simple content manage systems to start building your business website today. Now, you are probably wondering about the maintenance needed to run this business site of yours. A little ongoing effort can keep your website remaining relevant in search results and looking appealing for your clients.

3. Not Having A Business Plan

Do you think your little local business isn’t big enough to incorporate a business plan? If you answered yes, then you are wrong. Every business needs a business plan even if it is a two-page document outlining your goals. Over time you can refer to your business plan to ensure that you’re staying on track.

4. Not Marketing

So your business is booming after the grand opening, but that doesn’t mean stop marketing. Smart business owners market even when they don’t need it. Your business may be doing well right now, but in a few months that could change. The key with marketing, even when you don’t need it, is that it will ensure customers are coming to your business all year round. Remember to never use just one outlet to market your business.

5. Not Networking

Get out and meet new people! It’s easy to stay in the office and focus on business, especially if you are running a home-based business. Networking can possibly help you bring new customers to your business, but it can also connect you with others in your industry who can serve as a mentor.

Tip– There is always room to grow in your industry. Never stop learning and developing or it could be deadly for your business. Find new ways to be relevant to your audience and improve and expand your product line.

Kind Regards