Have a Question for Our Experts?

July Video Programming

Our video programming  starts with a live call in TV show on CANTV.  In addition to live questions, we use selected questions that have been given to us before the show.

July 7th. Brian Fons from Corporate Creations will be discussing legal aspects of using names, pictures, and content in your business. We are going to explore in some detail the trade offs when it comes to business risk in trademarks, copyright etc.

Below is a one of our videos with Brian from the Winter Season

July 14th Jacob Cynamon will be talking about opportunities to improve your website. We are going to look in detail at blogs, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook.  What area they?  What does it take to get started?  How can a small business use them effectively?  What is an integrated content strategy?

Below is one of our videos with Jacob from the Winter Season.

July 21st. Bernadette Shanahan-Hass, President/CEO of the Tinley Park Chamber of Commerce will be discussing the role of the chamber in the community.  How does the chamber help business development?  How can businesses take advantage of their chamber?

Below is an interview with Bernadette from an Economic Roundtable in April.

If you would like to submit a question, please post it in the comments section of this posting.


SCORE Women’s Success Blog Wins National Honor

Peg Corwin

SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” won the prestigious 2009 Interactive Media Award (IMA) for Outstanding Achievement for the SCORE Women’s Success Blog. SCORE received high marks for design, content, functionality and usability. The blog excelled in all areas of the judging criteria and represents a high standard of planning, execution and overall professionalism.

This popular blog is ranked in the top one percent of blogs worldwide, according to Technorati. The SCORE Women’s Success Blog features: Julie Brander, chapter chair with New Haven SCORE; Peg Corwin, marketing chair with Chicago SCORE; Peggy Duncan, volunteer and productivity expert with Atlanta SCORE; Betty Otte, district director and franchise expert with Orange County SCORE in Calif.; and Christine Banning, vice president of marketing and communications with the SCORE Association in Washington, D.C.

Blog posts cover a range of topics from business planning and marketing to access to cash. Recent posts on social media, high tech tools and spring contests for entrepreneurs bring new and current info to entrepreneurs. Bloggers share advice and wisdom on business success and how mentoring can help entrepreneurs build on their strengths.

Last year, SCORE launched the SCORE Women’s Success Blog by women for women as a resource to offer insights, advice and fresh takes on issues facing women entrepreneurs across America. This is the first blog from SCORE at the national level.

Since 1964, SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” has helped more than 8.3 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners through counseling and business workshops. More than 11,200 volunteer business counselors in 370 chapters serve their communities through entrepreneur education dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses.

Visit SCORE Chicago if you’re in the area, or the national SCORE website if not, to learn how SCORE can help you.  And please follow SCORE Chicago on Twitter, http://www.twitter.com/scorechicago.

Latest Talking Points for the SBA Recovery Act

mark-ferguson

At a meeting for counselors of SCORE Chicago, the SBA’s District Information Officer, Mark Ferguson, passed out a handout he had just received entitled “Recovery Act Overview.” The reverse side of the document is about “Understanding the SBA Programs in the Recovery Act.”

Here’s the link to the SBA’s Recovery Act Overview.

The consensus was that small business owners should look for loans at community banks and through the SBA’s Microloan program, at ACCION Chicago (and online ACCION nationally).  Regulations to implement some of these programs, including the micro lending program, are still being written.

SCORE counselors can counsel you in person in Chicago or counsel by email to help you obtain a loan for your business.

- Peg Corwin

Elywn Winston, Remembered

Elwyn Winston

Elwyn Winston

Elywn Winston, a SCORE counselor for 20 years, passed away last month.  Elwyn was an active counselor at SCORE’s free counseling locations at Governors State University and Prairie State University.

One of his clients, Shelia Edwards, sent us this email:

“…my SCORE Counselor was Elwyn Winston. He counseled me out of the Matteson, Illinois location. I just wanted to take the time to express my gratitude for his expertise and genuine appreciation for my business idea. Mr. Winston really went beyond the call of duty on my behalf and I will be forever grateful to him for doing so. SCORE is such a valuable asset to those looking to start a new business or expand an existing one.”

South vice chair Jack Donohue speaks for all of the volunteers and staff at SCORE Chicago when he says:

“Elwyn was instrumental in establishing the SCORE counseling site at Governors State. He recruited the counselors, was always there for SCORE…and did it with a smile…while playing piano and writing songs on the side. He will be missed.”

April 8th – Your Business Can Survive and Thrive: Learn to Position Yourself in Today’s Credit Environment

James Stoynoff, Synthesis Solutions LLC

James Stoynoff, Synthesis Solutions LLC

If you are a small business owner, you won’t want to miss SCORE Chicago‘s April 8th morning program entitled “Your Business Can Survive and Thrive: Learn to Position Yourself in Today’s Credit Environment.”  Representatives of SBA and National City Bank will also speak.

This special program addresses how the credit crunch is affecting small businesses and provides actionable steps you can use to meet lending criteria under the tighter new rules of the road. If you seek an increase in credit or are having difficulties with your present borrowing relationship, this workshop is for you.

The April 8th morning program will cover:

  • Difficult issues which are challenging small business owners today
  • Actions you can take to meet the challenges of the credit crunch
  • What the SBA is doing to assist qualifying small businesses
  • Steps you need to take to qualify for an SBA guaranteed loan
  • What banks want to know
  • How does the bank decide to make a loan
  • What to bring to the bank
  • What to look for in a bank(er)
  • What are non-bank lenders looking for from borrowers

April 8th Agenda:

7:30 AM       Registration / Networking / Refreshments
8:00 AM      Program Begins
9:30 AM      Program Ends

Speakers:

James Stoynoff, Synthesis Solutions LLC and SCORE Counselor
Peter Kim, National City Bank, loan officer
Mark Ferguson, SBA, out reach specialist

Registration Fee: $15

Don’t miss this one-time event to help you position your business in today’s credit environment.   For more information or to register, click here.

SCORE Chicago Describes Services on WVON Radio

Counselor Frantz Osse

Counselor Frantz Osse

Frantz Osse, counselor from SCORE Chicago, will be interviewed about SCORE and its services on WVON-AM [1690] radio at the following days and times:

Wednesday, March 18th at 8:30 am
Thursday March 19th at 6:30 pm
Saturday March 20th at 9:30 am

In addition to describing its services, Osse will also discuss opportunities for volunteering to become a counselor.

WVON has served the African-American communities in Chicago for more than 40 years.  The chapter is very grateful that WVON has agreed to work with us to get our message out.

- Peg Corwin

How Can SCORE Help? SCORE Chicago’s New Public Service Announcement

Score Chicago has a new public service announcement. Click to play. (It looks funny, but plays correctly.)

If that doesn’t work, here’s the link:  http://blip.tv/file/1526568

SCORE Chicago can help you too.  Sign up for counseling today to start or grow your business. Click here to set up an appointment online at one of our 15 counseling locations.

Peg Corwin

Avoid These 8 Mistakes in Your Business Plan


What are the most common mistakes in a business plan? I rounded up counselors from SCORE Chicago and took an informal survey.  Here are mistakes that they see again and again …

1.  Length.“Writing way too much.  No one will every read a 70 page document,” says Mitch Morris. “Narrative sections are always much too long and not appropriately focused,” comments Marge Schneider.  “Too long (and repetitive)” emails Al Grossman.

Read the rest of this entry »

SCORE Chicago To Offer Free Business Counseling In Skokie

Larry Lakin, Chair of SCORE Chicago

Larry Lakin, Chair of SCORE Chicago

Starting September 16, get private, free business counseling in Skokie from volunteer experts at SCORE Chicago. Larry Lakin, Chair of SCORE Chicago, just announced the opening of a new counseling site at Oakton Community College.

Counseling appointments are available on the second and fourth Tuesdays at 5:00, 6:00 and 7:00 p.m.  Oakton Community College will book appointments at first, but later the site will add online scheduling.   Counselor Irv Ellis will manage the branch location for SCORE Chicago.

SCORE Chicago Business Counseling at
Oakton Community College
7701 N. Lincoln Avenue
Skokie, IL

CALL (847) 982-9888 x 3 to register for a free private business counseling session.

Or log on to find counseling at 15 other locations around Chicago.

SCORE Chicago Enables Booking of Counseling Appointments Online

When Susan M. Kearney, a Yoga instructor, wanted to meet with a counselor to start her own business, she logged on to the counseling appointment page of SCORE Chicago, found a convenient date and location nearby her Round Lake home, and booked her appointment.

Blissful Brownies

Blissful Brownies

And when Ambler FitzSimons needed advice on the next steps for her successful online brownie business, Blissful Brownies, she also went online to make an appointment at the College of Lake County in Grayslake.

As busy small business owners like these approach SCORE, increasingly they want to interact online.  In the past six months, SCORE Chicago revised its appointment system to facilitate this online appointment setup. The organization has 15 locations, and now over half, including the main downtown location and all the Lake County branches, are online.

Here are the branches that now offer online signup for counseling sessions:

Chicago
Chicago Citibank Center (Main Office)Monday through Saturday

North Suburban
Arlington Heights Chamber 2nd and 4th Mondays
Deerfield Chamber Tuesday AM
College of Lake County, Grayslake Monday PM
College of Lake County Southlake, Vernon Hills Wednesday PM
Lincolnshire Chamber - 2nd and 4th Wed AM
Lake Zurich Chamber - Wednesday
Barrington Chamber/Harris Bank
Alt Tuesday

South Suburban
Governors State, University ParkTuesday AM & PM

Appointments at other locations can be made by phone.  To see a list of all locations, see the Appointment Page. Also please visit our site to learn of business workshops and other resources to help you with your business.  Counseling link at SCORE Chicago website, www.scorechicago.org.

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