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Tina Dettman-Bielefeldt column: SCORE seminars tackle the basics

7:28 PM, Apr. 24, 2013  |  Comments
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The Green Bay SCORE chapter will present an overview of business basics when it hosts its two-part "SCORE Big" seminars 6-9:30 p.m. May 7 and May 9.

Rob Moore - SCORE volunteer, seminar planner and CFO for Laugh Your Way America - says that participants will have an opportunity to hear from experts in some of the most important areas related to business.

"It's the perfect first step," Moore said. "The topics are general enough that they are easy to understand. Who wouldn't want to hear from an expert? It's an education that they can't just get anywhere."

Moore says that everyone has topics that are most concerning, and those are the areas they should pay the greatest attention to. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions and network with the speakers. Many come because they have an idea, and he says one of the goals is to get them to look deeper at the idea or concept.

"Operating or starting a business is usually more complex than the person originally thought," he said. "We try to get them to see that there will be personal sacrifice. Running a business requires a high level of commitment and energy."

While passion is important, Moore cautioned that passion can be misplaced, and direction is an important part of the process. He says that passion without a plan can equal chaos.

Part one of the seminar will feature Mike Hall, CPA and business consultant with QuickStart, Inc., on "Successful Business Planning;" KaraLynne Moore, with business services at Community First Credit Union, on "Business Financing 101;" and Jon Olson, attorney, on "Legal Issues for Small Business."

The second night includes Chad Heath, account executive with Alliance Insurance Centers, on "Insurance Insights: Improve Your Knowledge to Protect Your Business;" Miles Smith, MBA and author, on "Developing a Strong Team Culture;" and Robert Jahnke, president of Top Hat Marketing, on "Business Marketing Strategies." All but Smith are SCORE volunteers.

Moore says there is something to be learned from each, and even though there are a lot of people willing to share their experiences for free, participants must be prepared for startup costs. He recommends comparing it to running a household, except on a larger scale.

"You have a home utility bill, you likely have an office utility bill. You have homeowner's or renter's insurance, you have business insurance. You pay income taxes, you pay business taxes."

In addition, businesses are more regulated and there are license fees and a myriad of other requirements. However, the seminar is a good place to start and SCORE mentors are available to work with participants at any time during the process.

"They are there because they are looking for resources and SCORE can be a resource for them," Moore said. "The volunteers are there because they want to share their experience and help during their journey. When you go to SCORE, it's like going to the library."

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