Category Archives: News

SCORE invites you to participate in our new #SCOREstory social media campaign.

business people huddle for celebrationSCORE celebrates your small business success, and we want to share your story to help inspire others.

By spreading the word about SCORE through your own social networks, you will help other entrepreneurs to learn about our free, expert mentoring and educational programming, all of which are designed to help small business owners achieve their dreams.

There are several potential benefits to you for participating in this campaign:

  1. Your post may be shared on SCORE National’s social media pages (with a combined following of approximately 100,000 people).
  2. You may be contacted to expand your story for use on www.score.org, which has more than 200,000 unique users each month.
  3. Your company may be profiled in SCORE national marketing and press that can reach millions of people.
  4. You may be featured in local chapter marketing, where your name, logo, and website would be shared with thousands of potential new customers.

Continue reading

We can help you become a government contractor.

If you have a successful business and would like to expand into federal government contracting, SCORE is here to help. SCORE is America’s premier source of free, confidential small business advice. It was founded in 1964 as a nonprofit resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The Kitsap Branch of SCORE has volunteers who are experienced in government contracting. They are available to help you achieve your goals without charge. Our Subject Matter Experts have more than 29 years of government contracting experience.

They can help you get registered and certified to receive government contracts. They can assist you in understanding the pre-award requirements and steps you must take. When you have been awarded a contract, they can help you make sure you are meeting the contract’s requirements. And, at the end of the day, their goal is to help you get a great performance evaluation and more government contracts.

Meet our government contracting subject matter experts:

Terry Homburg
Paul Park

11 Changes to Make Your Business Better

same old thinking same old results

How often do you make changes in your business?
Like most entrepreneurs, I love “shaking things up.”

Here are 11 changes you can make in your life and your business for a more exciting, enriching and profitable future.

1. Update your business technology.

Tech tools enable small businesses to run as productively as big ones. Are you taking full advantage of them? Assess which technologies would help you do business more effectively in the coming year, whether that’s new computer hardware, switching to more sophisticated business apps, or using cloud storage and collaboration tools to streamline your workload.

2. Get organized.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, lighten the load by cleaning out your office. You’ve probably gone digital in many aspects of your business, but you might still have old folders or file cabinets full of paper documents. Purging those piles and files of paper will make you feel more focused. Shred what you no longer need; scan important documents you still need to save and store them in the cloud instead. If they contain sensitive financial or personal data, make sure they’re encrypted and protected from access except by employees who need them. Continue reading

Improve Your Online Presence for Your Home Business

woman in her home officeIf you want your business to thrive and grow in this digital era, you need to have a strong online presence, especially if you work from home. Home-based businesses do not get foot traffic – unlike companies with stores or offices. But, the internet has leveled the playing field for entrepreneurs, working from home or elsewhere, so you have to take advantage of increasing your reach by improving your online presence. And the sooner you do it, the better. You don’t want to be left in the dust by your competitors, do you?

Here are six strategies to improve your online presence:

1. Create a Professional Website and SEO-Optimize It

Since you don’t have a shop or office accessible to the public, it may be difficult for people to find you. Therefore, investing in a website is crucial to you as a home-based business. Take note that it must look and function professionally. If it is designed poorly or has technical malfunctions, visitors might perceive your business as a scam. If you don’t have the budget to pay for an expert web developer, you can opt to build it yourself using drag-and-drop website builders – like Wix or Weebly — which are easy to use even for those without experience creating websites.

Once your website’s up and running, you need to optimize it for SEO. Basically, that means getting your site to rank higher on search engine results. Having a website that doesn’t show up on the first few pages of search engines – like Google or Bing – is like having a store in a ghost town that nobody sees or knows. To optimize your website’s SEO data, you need to create content that use keywords for the type of services or products you offer. Also, you will also have a higher chance of improving your site ranking if you have other websites linking to yours. There are plenty of tools that you can use to help you optimize your site for search engines. Continue reading

In 2012, I had an $87 Aha!! Moment.

Valarie Harris from Varris Marketing

by Valarie Harris, Varris Marketing

This story is all about my $87 Aha!! Moment.  I have been in Marketing since 2011, with an official launch of Varris Marketing in 2012. Things started off slow, but headed in the right direction, so I thought.  Year-end profit numbers came in and I only made $87.  I chalked it up to first year jitters. So, with the brand-new year here, I made some changes, thinking, hoping, and praying that my year end results would be better, I mean, they had to be right? To my surprise and amazement, my year ended making the exact same amount as the previous year, $87. Unbelievable right? I suddenly became frustrated and discouraged.

I decided to take the next year off to figure out what the heck was going on, what was I doing wrong and how to fix it, because not only was my business tanking, so was my personal life. I thought offering rock bottom prices would get me more clients and it did, but way too many.  I also thought that doing everything that operating a business entails would keep cost down and save money, wrong again, that just kept me working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, neglecting my clients, my home, my kids, my husband and myself. I had more money leaving my bank account than was coming in, and that’s when my AHA moment happened. Continue reading

He makes your concrete beautiful!

Grant Furness is one of our local SCORE clients, and his company is called Western Coatings. He installs epoxy floor coatings. According to his website, “epoxy makes for a beautiful, durable and easy to clean floor.

For modern living spaces, garage floors, mechanic shops and industrial facilities, epoxy flooring is a great choice!” We asked for a brief list of services he provides, and he said:

  • epoxy floor coatings
  • polished concrete/ grind & seal
  • crack/joint/small repair
  • deck coatings
  • water & vapor problems
  • concrete resurfacing

To learn more, you can visit his website… https://western-coatings.com

Is it time to share what you do with hundreds of local SCORE clients? If so, send us an email.

Ask These 5 Questions to Find Out If You Can Attract More Customers to Your Local Business by Updating Your Website

And Take These 5 Steps to Prepare for an Update…

by Lane Sennett, Online Website & Cloud Technology Specialist

The FIVE Questions

Here’s how to know if you need a website update:

  1. Just look at it!  Does it look modern like the websites you click on when you see something interesting?  Is it easy to look at?  And, how does it look on a mobile device?
  1. Is the information it provides up to date?  For your hours, location, offers, or services?
  1. Are the images or video’s recent?  Have you added any content in the last 30 days?
  1. Are you hearing any comments or complaints about how your website works or its content?Ask your staff – what have they heard and what do they think?
  1. Or, is it just crickets?  No comments, and not sending you any customers?  Is it only a brochure that tells people your phone number and services without a call to action?

If you answered NO, to 2 or more of these questions – then your business can benefit from a website update, redesign or total overhaul.  There is so much more your website can do for your business, and for the marketing dollars you are spending on it. Continue reading