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What’s It Going to Take to Start Your Business?

A good idea and good planning add up to business success. SCORE is here to help.

A little more than a decade ago, a personal computer was a big, bulky luxury, and using one required training and patience. Today, PCs are in nearly every home, every office, and — potentially — every hand. This incredible transition is the culmination of thousands of hardware and software innovations, many of which were developed not by giant corporations, but by small businesses with as few as a handful of employees.

America’s small businesses are indeed incubators for bright ideas. They account for 50 percent of all private-sector innovations. In the high-tech sector alone, there are 40,000 firms that have fewer than 20 employees. These enterprises are led by talented dreamers who are also grounded in the realities of the business world. They have the vision to see how an idea can be both practical and profitable, and the objectivity to carefully craft a strategy to get from Point A to Point B. They understand that success may not come overnight, nor is it achievable without hard work and the occasional mistake. But they never stop learning, nor do they back away from a true opportunity.

Does that sound like you? Are you a creative person with a good idea or innovation that can make money? Then owning a small business may be just the ticket to a bright future. But move carefully. Starting and running a business requires planning and forethought. Opportunities exist for the dedicated, innovative and motivated entrepreneur, but even the “best and the brightest” need help understanding the nuances of the business world.


Santa Barbara SCORE meets every Wednesday, from 8:30-11:30 a.m., at 402 E. Gutierrez St., Santa Barbara. No appointment is necessary. For more information, call 805.563.0084, visit SCORE online or click here to register for counseling.

In addition, the Santa Barbara SCORE Chapter publishes a great tool for aspiring entrepreneurs, How to Start a Business in Santa Barbara County.

If you are considering entrepreneurship, you can gather a wealth of valuable information and obtain advice right here in your community. And best of all, it’s free. The SCORE Association “Counselors to America’s Small Business” offers small business counseling and mentoring to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. SCORE, or Service Corps of Retired Executives, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small business.

SCORE is comprised of more than 11,500 volunteer counselors. They are business professionals who literally have “been there, done that.” They act as guides, advisers and information resources for aspiring entrepreneurs. Most counseling sessions take place at SCORE offices because of the amount of reference material on file for your use. During your first counseling session, ask about the free small business planning workbook How To Really Start Your Own Business. SCORE offers this workbook as a free resource to any aspiring entrepreneur who commits to three counseling sessions. During these sessions, you and an expert business professional will discuss the elements of your business plan and begin putting those ideas in writing. Many local SCORE chapters also offer small business workshops and seminars, which do charge modest fees.

Ultimately, it will be you who makes the decisions about your potential new business. SCORE provides all the experience and resources to help you make good choices.

Click here to plug into a wealth of business know-how from the Santa Barbara chapter of the Service Corps of Retired Executives. SCORE counselors offer free, confidential advice about every aspect of starting, running and growing a successful business, even mentoring.

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