Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Ask SCORE: What do I need to know before buying a business?

Rather than building a small business from the ground up, buying an existing company offers the opportunity to move along the path to entrepreneurship more quickly. With all of the startup tasks already taken care of, a staff in place, an established customer base, existing vendor relationships, and processes and procedures laid out, you have a head start.

But that doesn’t diminish the importance of doing your research before making the decision to buy a business. Acquiring an existing small business requires substantial examination so you avoid the many pitfalls that befall eager entrepreneurs who leap before they look.  Continue reading

Ask SCORE | Should I run my small business from home?

Operating a business from home offers small business owners some significant advantages — and some disadvantages, too. Some entrepreneurs find running a home-based business works exceptionally well for them, while others do much better at a coworking space of in an office away their home. Consider the following pros and cons.  Continue reading

When you’re in business, it’s always Day 1.

leadershipI read with interest how Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, described his philosophy around “Day 1.”When asked what Day 2 looked like he described it as “Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that’s why it is always Day 1.”

Personally, I love this approach. I mentioned it recently to a group of entrepreneurs in the Emerging Leaders class here in Seattle and it seemed to fit in perfectly with what they are working on. They have all been in business for 3 or more years and are now creating new strategic growth plans for their businesses of the future. In order to do this without all the “constraints” that experience and beliefs dictate are “true,” we have to look at it as Day 1, and then consider – what will you do differently?

Think of it like Groundhog Day. You get to keep doing it over and over again but with a different template, different knowledge, and a different environment. If you were recreating your business, what would Day 1 look like now? Who’s to say you can’t give it a try?  Continue reading

It’s time you learned about the art of referrals.

You have a business, but are people talking about it?

man holding card referralsWord-of-mouth is just as relevant today as it has ever been. When a business asks you to talk about how great they are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on, that’sword-of-mouth. When you provide good content that others can share, that is also word of mouth. Today, potential customers are more likely to pay attention to people they know and a large general following (e.g., Yelp) than if they see the same commentary in a company advertisement.

In fact, they’ll pay much more attention. The Word of Mouth Marketing Association published some research a couple years ago that found “the value of a word of mouth impression is from five to 100+ times more valuable than a paid media impression.”

You don’t have to spend all day convincing people to spread the word about your new business on social media.

Continue reading

Are you an entrepreneur or a business owner?

by Kelly Deis of SoundPoint Consulting

Have you ever wondered what distinguishes an entrepreneur from a business owner? Maybe not.

But if you are a business owner, it behooves you to know the difference and to be comfortable with who you are.

Obviously, all entrepreneurs are business owners. But not all business owners are entrepreneurs. What is the difference?  Continue reading

Spark of Genius: Walk Tall and Innovate

We recently came across this article about Dan Horkey, a Kitsap SCORE client, written by Alex Camarota of the US Patent and Trademark Office, Office of Innovation Development. Turns out there are a lot of good articles to read and plenty to learn at the USPTO website.

Innovation changes lives every day.

It makes many of our daily tasks easier, more efficient, or more affordable. But sometimes it does more. Sometimes an invention has the power to not only change lives, but to give people back a life.

Dan Horkey’s life changed drastically and suddenly in 1985 at the age of 21. A motorcycle accident had left him with an amputated left leg below the knee. After a lengthy recovery, he received a prosthetic leg and began the arduous task of learning to walk and function with it. It was the mental challenges, however, that proved most difficult to surmount.


“I sought to cover up my disability,” said Dan. “I didn’t want others to know, and I wanted to avoid a lot of the questions I would get—like, how did you lose your leg?—when I was transitioning from crutches to a prosthetic.”

Dan lost more than his leg in the accident. While doctors, physical therapists, and rehabilitation therapists could help him adjust to the various physical challenges, they had little to offer that might help him accept this new, foreign part of his body or regain his self-esteem. His response was to conceal it with a fake skin cosmetic cover.  Continue reading