Step 5 Meet with a Professional

Updated: Feb 27, 2019

We want you to keep coming back to the site for business resources but there are several organizations in every state that offer free one-on-one sessions with trained counselors for example SCORE. SCORE is volunteer business professionals helping small business owners solve business problems.SCORE has over 370 chapters and is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and small businesses form, grow and succeed. Volunteers give freely of their time, energy and knowledge to help others.

SCORE volunteers donate over 1 million free hours of their time each year to support their communities. Counselors act as sounding boards as you move from evaluating your idea to planning your business and can address a number of start-up issues, including markets, competition, operations, and your business plan. When you contact a potential counselor, be specific about what information you need and what kind of business you are starting.

Before meeting with a counselor, make note of the following:

Questions from your market research

Concerns about how your business will operate

Issues about competition or location

Although it's not essential to find an expert in your particular field, it makes sense to look for someone who specializes in small-business problems. Be sure the professional is willing to learn about your business's goals. You're looking for someone who will be a long-term partner in your business's growth. You will be discussing matters close to your heart with this person, so make sure you feel comfortable doing so. Good chemistry will ensure a better relationship and positive results for your business.

Joining your local small business association and becoming active in civic groups in your community can also prove beneficial. You can start with your local Better Business Bureau and your local Chamber of Commerce. When you make promising contacts, be prepared to concisely and clearly describe your services, your expertise, and what sets your business apart, and have a list of references available so potential customers can easily check your background and credentials.

Being an entrepreneur is incredibly difficult, sometimes lonely and you’ll often feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster. The most effective way to maintain a healthy perspective while also improving your odds of success is to spend time with other entrepreneurs and find a mentor. A fresh set of eyes can help point out a problem you might have missed. Plus, these people will become your first brand advocates, especially if you listen to their input and they like the product.

When receiving feedback from a fellow entrepreneur, whether negative or positive. Start by saying thank you. People who give you negative feedback won't expect you to thank them for it, but doing so will probably gain their respect. If someone doesn't like one idea, it doesn't mean they hate everything you've just said. Remember that these people are trying to help, and they might just be pointing out a smaller problem or solution that you should look into further. Seek out the patterns. If you keep hearing the same comments, then it's time to start sitting up and taking notice. Last but not lease look for opportunities to develop mutually beneficial relationships with other businesses

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