What is SCORE?
Since 1964, SCORE has been the premier small business counseling service in the U.S. The nonprofit
association has 354 chapters nationwide and more than 13,000 working and retired business experts who
volunteer their time, talents and expertise to help small business entrepreneurs succeed in starting and growing their businesses.
How does SCORE help small businesses?
SCORE volunteers provide free counseling to small business entrepreneurs on a wide range of business
topics—everything from how to write a business plan, how to arrange funding and manage cash flow, to how to develop effective marketing and Web-based retailing. Business owners can access SCORE via free, ongoing face-to-face mentoring sessions, low-cost local workshops and online expert resources, including free online workshops, business tools and templates, and mentoring via email.
Are SCORE’s services free?
The majority of SCORE’s services are free. As a community service, SCORE provides free, ongoing one-on-one business counseling by experienced volunteer professionals and provides online resources—including free online workshops and information on a broad array of business topics. SCORE also provides local workshops for a small fee.
What is SCORE’s relationship with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)?
SCORE operates as a resource partner with the SBA, providing entrepreneurs with ongoing mentoring and information that is vital to their success. This includes counseling on financial options and loans, business planning, marketing strategies, product development— and more.
Who are SCORE’s counselors?
SCORE’s more than 13,000 volunteer experts come from all business areas and have substantial skills. Some have served as executives of Fortune 500 companies. Some have been entrepreneurs and small business owners. Others have valuable experience in universities, government or the military. What they all have in common is a willingness to share their expertise, experience and business savvy to help others succeed.
What resources does SCORE offer online?
SCORE provides a wide array of free online expert resources and tools at its web site, www.score.omaha.org. Hundreds of online guides (in English and Spanish) provide practical, proven tips on small business topics. There are templates for business plans, financial projections, marketing plans and funding sources, among others. Information is tailored to women, veterans, minorities and young entrepreneurs. Small business entrepreneurs also can sharpen their business skills through SCORE’s free online workshops on building a business plan, setting prices, arranging loans, developing competitor and market analysis—and more. At online counseling, seasoned business counselors provide answers to entrepreneurs’ questions within 48 hours.
How can entrepreneurs contact SCORE for business counseling?
Entrepreneurs and small business owners can visit www.score.omaha.org to locate our SCORE office
or identify an online counselor specializing in their industry. They also can call 402-221-3606 local SCORE office.
Do I need to schedule an appointment to meet with a SCORE counselor?
Yes. Walk-ins and call-ins are always welcome, but we can’t guarantee a counselor will be available when you arrive or call. Scheduling a counseling session will allow us to match you with a counselor who is an expert in the area(s) you want to talk about. You can schedule a counseling session on the home page of our website www.score.omaha.org.
Can I talk to a counselor over the phone?
Yes. For the reasons cited above, however, it’s a good idea to schedule the call.
How do I get to SCORE? What is the phone number? What are the hours of operation?
SCORE Chapter 40 hours are 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday – Friday and the third Saturday of each month from 9:00a.m. – Noon. We are closed on the third Thursday of each month for counselor training.
We are located at 10675 Bedford Ave - Suite 100 in Omaha, Nebraska.
Does SBA and/or SCORE make business loans?
No, neither one makes business loans. SBA’s loan guarantee program is one of its biggest and most successful activities. SBA, upon successful completion of its loan application and approval process, works with area lenders to arrange business loans, guaranteeing up to 80% of the loan principal. As "Counselors to America's Small Business," SCORE is America's premier source of free and confidential small business advice for entrepreneurs.
Will SCORE develop a business plan for me so that I can borrow money?
No. We can, however, assist you in preparing your business plan. SCORE Chapter 40 pre-business workshop includes business plans – what they are, why they are needed and what is required to prepare a good business plan. A SCORE Chapter 40 alliance partner, the Nebraska Business Development Council (NBDC) will review your business plan, advise of needed or recommended changes and improvements and provide support during the development of your business plan, all at no charge.
What kind of help will I find on the national SCORE and SBA Web sites?
An astonishing array that’s too broad to cover here. Why not visit the sites and see for yourself? Don’t be intimidated by the amount of data offered. Both sites are well organized and easy to navigate. Pick a topic and start investigating. It’s all free and without obligation.
Will a SCORE mentor help me start my business?
While we can’t help you “open shop,” SCORE Chapter 40 counselors are always available for follow-up counseling. And the chapter’s “Listening to Your Business” program might provide just the kind of support you’re looking for, again free of charge.
Can I check out any of the reference publications, such as the “Entrepreneur Magazine’s” library of “How To” startup manuals for over 100 small businesses?
Reference materials cannot be checked out, however, copies in limited numbers can be made for a small charge. Hard copies of many guides and listings, however, are available without cost.
Do you provide workshops?
Yes, we provide various business workshps. Our workshops a generally a very low cost. Our workshops are located on the local workshop tab of our website (www.score.omaha.org). We also have on-line workshop under the "on-line workshop" tab.