Cedar Rapids, IA (PressExposure) November 12, 2010 -- In today's economy, it's tough for small businesses to get the help they often need to take their business to the next level -- but there's an organization that gives small businesses advice, training and valuable resources - for free. SCORE, the "Counselors to America's Small Businesses," can help businesses succeed with their business efforts.
SCORE is a non-profit association with over 13,000 volunteers and 350 local chapters. SCORE volunteers are real business executives and entrepreneurs. These experts have knowledge and expertise in a variety of specialty areas. Since SCORE counselors donate their time, their advice is free (and confidential.) Small businesses can get advice on everything from preventing staff theft, common hiring mistakes, top bookkeeping errors, setting up a home office and much more. SCORE allows entrepreneurs to connect with real business experts online, meet face-to-face, attend live workshops, read how-to articles, participate in webinars and more.
Ann Tompkins from Iowa City, IA joined SCORE in November 2004. "During much of my career, I was involved in corporate marketing management, primarily in product development and customer service for computer-related educational products," said Tompkins. "After working for 3 Fortune 50 corporations and one major public school district, I left the corporate world and entered law school at the University of Iowa." She retired from her law practice in 2004.
Ann began "cyber counseling" (SCORE's name for internet counseling) in March 2005 and began counseling locally in June 2005. Last year Ann conducted 200+ online counseling sessions and personally met with 30+ local clients. "Every consulting situation is unique," Tompkins says. "I've worked with a variety of entrepreneurs and businesses -- a farmer who wanted to develop an experimental crop, a 16-year old who started a food business, a person who wanted to manufacture and sell holistic pet products and others."
Entrepreneurs come to SCORE at different times in the evolution of their businesses, with different capabilities, goals and resources. "The challenge is to assist them in making the correct decisions and provide the support they need to implement the decisions," said Tompkins. And her work is paying off. "The small business market in this area is strong and vibrant. Of course, the test of small business success really cannot be measured for several years," she said, "but SCORE businesses nationally and locally are exceeding national rates for success."
Find your local SCORE branch and get in touch with a local small business advisor today: http://www.score.org/findscore/index.html.