A great resource for new or existing entrepreneurs
is the Senior Core of Retired Executives, also known
as SCORE. This national, nonprofit group was formed
in 1964 to assist entrepreneurs through no-cost
counseling and low-cost training workshops, and
whose mission is "Dedicated to entrepreneurial
education and the formation, growth, and success of
small business nationwide."
SCORE is a resource
partner of the U. S. Small Business Administration
comprising 389 chapters throughout the U. S. and
Puerto Rico whose
volunteer counselors are
retired and actively employed small business owners, executives
and business professionals who are experienced in
all phases of business start-up and management
operations. SCORE and Visa U .S. A. also have a
series of free financial management workbooks, How
to Secure Financing; How to Choose the Best Bank for
Your Business; and How to Really Start Your Own
Business. To find a SCORE chapter near you, Call
(800) 634-0245; write 409 3rd St., SW, 6th Floor,
Washington, DC 20024; or visit
In your opinion,
what are the most common mistakes people make who
are starting a business?
· Not taking the time
to plan their businesses. A business plan, even a
simple one is worth the time it takes to write
because it can help give you a "road map" or
"blueprint" to follow.
· Not test marketing to see if your business product
or service is in demand.
· Not having the
background, training, and/or experience to start your
business. Assess the skills and experience you presently
have to bring to this business to see if you have the
knowledge and skills your business idea will require. If you
need more, enroll in courses or take a job in the industry
to get first-hand experience.
· Inadequate marketing. Marketing is a daily task. Without
it, your business will stagnate.
· Lack of professionalism. Just because you work from home,
does not mean your promotional materials, business
letters,or how you conduct your business should be
· Lack of focus. From business plan, you should devise
specific goals—short- and long-range—on which you can
concentrate your efforts rather than wasting time and money
on markets not interested or in need of your business’
products and/or services.
· Inadequate money management. You need to balance your
expenses and profits to make sure you are operating as
efficiently as possible, but spending wisely to promote your
business and keep it growing. Regularly consulting with your
accountant can help you set financial goals and parameters.
· Lack of "passion!" You will have to absolutely love your
work because it will become an integral part of your life,
occupying more hours than you ever imagined. Your
"challenge," will be how to "pace" or balance your business’
activities with the personal relationships and activities in
Business experts say the amount of time a new entrepreneur
spends in researching a business idea relates directly to
its success. Do not temper your enthusiasm in your desire to
start your own business, but do force yourself to take all
the time you need to thoroughly research and plan your idea.
Your patience and willingness to do this will be much more
likely to be rewarded by satisfying profits and doing work
you enjoy than if you rush headlong into a venture that is
much more likely to fail because you did not take the time
to adequately prepare yourself for all the rigors that are
required of a new business start-up!
U. S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA )Internet Site
for Government Contracts If you are interested in seeing if
there is a possibility that your home/small business could
obtain a government contract either with the federal
government or by being a sub-contractor with a larger firm
that has a present SBA contract, then check out the SBA PRO-NetÔ
http://pro-net.sba.gov This site has access to the Commerce
Business Daily, which daily posts 500 to 1,000
procurement-related notices, plus additional information on
doing business with the government. You can also sign-up
your own company to join the almost 175,000 other businesses
in the database seeking federal, state, and private
contracts. With the federal government seeking to increase
its contracts with small businesses, you will want to take
some time to see if your venture might qualify to be the
recipient of government spending for your business’ goods
Author Bio: Priscilla Y. Huff is an author/expert on
women's entrepreneurship, and writes regularly for
iVillage.com. Her latest book is "101 Best Home-Business
Success Secrets for Women."