SCORE!! Shout out to the fabulous Robin Warren, SCORE Business Counselor, workshop organizer, and owner of CSRA Web Strategy! Robin has been supporting me though every step of my “start a school” process, even before I realized it was my time to start a school!
She greeted me as I attended my very first SCORE seminar, “Starting a Nonprofit,” and has greeted me at EVERY SCORE seminar I have attended since then. She attended Abigail’s boot camp at Sweetspot Strategies (a SCORE guest presenter) with me and spent as much, if not more time talking about my ideas than her own. She has been very helpful with brainstorming, guidance and encouragement as well as complimenting me on what I’m doing right, which honestly, makes a HUGE difference, as sometimes I feel I’m floundering around in a world of unknowns.
Paul Newsom, also a business counselor at SCORE and one of my SCORE mentors, listened to my pitch and gave me the positive feedback I needed to get started (see previous jaw dropping blog post). He and Chris Lynch, another business counselor at SCORE, and also one of my assigned SCORE mentors, (you get two mentors when you request the mentor service) have met with me twice, volunteering their time to assist me in planning and guiding me into this successful business venture. They share their great ideas, make me think about my plans, and encourage me to take steps forward. It’s like working with a small team think tank! I meet with them once every few months (number of meetings and how often are determined by me) to ensure I’m staying on track. I always leave meetings with direction, homework and feeling great about my school adventure!
Make no mistake, even though schools are nonprofit, they still have to be treated as a business to be successful. These business seminars and meetings along with my school philosophy are the foundation of what will make this school great!
I also met Martin at White Whale Web Design and Lisa K with SMART Consulting through SCORE when they were guest presenters for a Social Media Marketing seminar, and I have attended their seminars outside of SCORE as well.
If I haven’t said it enough already, SCORE is an amazing resource, with a myriad of extremely experienced people, all willing to assist small and new businesses, as well as established businesses. They offer so many services, I’m sure I’ll be working with them for many years to come, and when I become the expert in my field, I’ll volunteer too!
This is what it means to be a COMMUNITY. All of their workshops and services are FREE – TRULY FREE! These wonderful people do what they do to give back to the COMMUNITY!
Now obviously, if you use their individual services outside of SCORE, they are entrepreneurs, so fees apply, but inside the warm home of SCORE, their time is volunteered and services are absolutely free.
I highly recommend any and all business owners to look into what they have to offer.
Networking is an automatic byproduct of the workshops and seminars (I cannot wait to buy my new knife sharpener from one of my fellow SCORE seminar attendees – Colleen, call me first, I have salmon to skin!), and I have met people from all sorts of businesses. We exchange information and encourage each other.
I am very fortunate to have such a great team with amazing experience behind them, and you can utilize this great team too – all you have to do is ask!