"I've just recently set up my bookbinding business, and I'm a little unclear as to what kind of accounting records I should keep for my business".
"I've been in business for 10 years now, and I'm interested in expanding. What kinds of financing are available to me to help pay for the expansion?"
"I don't understand the difference between a corporation, a partnership, an S-Corp and a Sole Proprietorship. Who can explain this to me, to help me determine which is the best set up for me?
"I 'm a good bookbinder, but I don't have a lot of experience in the administrative part of the business. Where can I take some short courses or workshops to help me out?"
Did you know that these, and other business questions, can be answered through your local SCORE office, free? SCORE is the Service Corps of Retired Executives, a nonprofit association sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and offers unlimited FREE counselling on small business start-up procedures and existing small business problems. SCORE is staffed by retired and active business executives, who donate their time to helping small businesses. They have over 750 offices throughout the United States, staffed by over 12,000 volunteers, so there is bound to be an office in your area!
When I first went about setting up my company, I contacted the SCORE office housed at my local community college. After my free initial consultation, I was put in touch with four different specialists, based on my needs and my specific questions: an accountant, a lawyer, an advertising/promotion specialist, and a banker. I set up appointments with each of them independently and found that each of these volunteers had a wealth of information to share with me in their respective fields of expertise. And it was all free!
Don't think that SCORE is just for new companies; they often counsel long-established small businesses. They can offer advice on record keeping, selling and marketing, tax rules and regulations, insurance, start-up procedures, and much more. Besides the individual counseling they offer, they also sponsor workshops and seminars on a variety of small-business topics. Whether you have a bindery with ten employees, or are working alone, take advantage of their free services. I did!
To find the SCORE office nearest you, call (800) 634-0245.