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SCORE Supporting Flagstaff-Area Businesses with Free Resources

As an extension of the SBA, we are focused on promoting the survival and growth of small businesses.

SCORE is a nonprofit organization with more than 10,000 volunteer mentors nationwide, including 32 in its Northern Arizona chapter, that helps entrepreneurs start, grow, reinvent or exit their businesses with little to no cost.

We cover all sectors, all industries and all backgrounds. Aspiring entrepreneurs often have an idea they want to pursue but don't know where to start. We will assign you a mentor or you can choose one by answering questions on our website. Mentors can be local or provide guidance through virtual meetings.

In these meetings, I want to discuss where the business person is in the process and hear their vision. For startups, I might start by guiding my client through a series of questions that will help me draft a business plan.

As a division of the Small Business Administration (SBA), we can direct entrepreneurs to resources, tools and templates they can use to prepare for funding, and even help them get funding if they need it.

Some of our clients are already established businesses. They may be looking to expand or restructure their business. They may have experienced a business interruption, such as a pandemic, and need a recovery plan. They may need advice on selling their business, acquiring another company, or preparing for retirement. We have experienced professionals to help our clients navigate the different stages and challenges that may arise during the life of their business.

For example, one chiropractor came to us right out of school. He wanted to open his own practice. He was very talented and smart, but he hadn't gone to business school and recognized he needed some guidance on business.

We went through the steps of creating a business plan that included marketing, outreach, promotion and advertising. He started speaking at seminars and webinars. We signed a lease and opened with a bang.

But then things hit a bit of a plateau. We weren't getting an influx of patients, so we got creative with our marketing and advertising. He hosted “lunch and learn” events and partnered with nearby businesses to provide added value. One of them was a masseuse who agreed to come into the chiropractor's office and provide five-minute massages to customers waiting in the lobby.

It's been a year since our grand opening and we're pleased to say that business is going well.

SCORE has been in operation since 1964. Our number one goal is to provide business people with a positive experience and serve their business needs because we care about the economic development of our communities. As an extension of the SBA, we are focused on promoting the survival and growth of small businesses. Essentially, your success is our success.

SCORE mentors and online resources can help you:

  • Advice for startups
  • Entrepreneurial Guidance
  • Fine-tuning your business plan
  • Improve your marketing strategy
  • Increased cash flow
  • Corporate relocation
  • Expand your business
  • Guiding tomorrow's leaders

No matter what stage your business is at, we are here to help. For more information and mentors, Click here for details Or call us at 928-778-7438. FBN

Theresa Zaret

Theresa Zaretto is a certified mentor and president of SCORE Northern Arizona Chapter.

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