Ask SCORE: Sharpening Your Business Skills for Success
Those starting a small business often lack the full knowledge or all the skills required for success.
Even those with extensive education or experience in business may need to update their entrepreneurial responsibilities. This includes such things as employee management, tax issues, business development and accounting.
Fortunately, the range of small business-oriented learning opportunities and training programs has never been broader for veteran and novice entrepreneurs alike. Seeking help is simply smart.
No business owner can be adept at every aspect of operating successfully. Plus, conditions change, so keeping informed is vital to long-term success.
The SCORE organization here in the Sandhills area provides small business owners (or "wannabes ) with counseling services and free seminars from highly qualified and experienced business people. The seminars cover a wide range of topics, including marketing, accounting, planning, financing and more.
A six-part seminar series called "Business Basics" is offered at least twice a year in conjunction with the Small Business Center at Sandhills Community College. The next one will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at SCC. The specific seminars in the series and course descriptions are available at the Sandhills SCORE website, www.SandhillsScore.org
A popular Internet-based seminar program is the Small Business Training Network/E-Business Institute of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which offers free online courses on a wide variety of topics important to business owners, and registers nearly a million users at its website each year.
Topics include areas such as business startup, growing your business, business insurance, home-based business and re-engineering your skills. The Tools section of the website gives access to an extensive library of articles, podcasts and Web chats on various small business issues. Details on the Small Business Training Network can be seen at www.sba.gov and click "Training" under the site's Services section.
Many SCORE and/or SBA-sponsored training events are offered nationwide, including talks on local economic conditions, brown-bag networking lunches, loan seminars, startup workshops and free business assessments. Specific information about local events around the country is available at the Local Resources section of the SBA website.
In addition, dozens of top colleges and universities offer business training courses, which can be taken online or in more traditional classroom environments. Many require a fee, and some may have educational prerequisites. Advisers at the individual schools can help identify one or more courses that are best suited to individual needs.
To learn more about training opportunities for small business, contact SCORE, America's free and confidential source of small business mentoring and coaching. SCORE is a nationwide nonprofit association of experienced business people who provide free, confidential business counseling to small business owners.
The Sandhills chapter is active in counseling, mentoring and presenting free business seminars. If you wish to speak to SCORE about your business, please register as a client by entering your information at www.edmisscore.org/0364, and one of our counselors will contact you.
In addition to counseling by appointment, the Sandhills chapter of SCORE has drop-in service, for those who have registered, from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Fridays at the Moore County Chamber of Commerce building on U.S. 15-501 in Southern Pines. The phone number is (910) 692-3926.
More like this story