Category Archives: Getting Started

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

Ask SCORE: How can I use the business model canvas?

methodology-b5e4177c0e51a4b1c552fbec08455ccd8643b8ac6fcced615e7b2452e4d5563bThe Business Model Canvas is an entrepreneurial tool that helps you visualize, design, and reinvent your business model. It was developed by Swiss business theorist and author Alexander Osterwalder.

For a startup, using the tool can help you develop a clear view of your value proposition, operations, customers, and finances. As an existing business owner, you can use it to identify how the different components of your business relate to each other.

It can help you decide where you need to focus your time and effort.  Continue reading

New sessions for Kitsap BE$T… Business Education Support & Training Program

Thinking of Starting or Expanding your Business? 

Kitsap’s BE$T (Business Education Support & Training) Program will help you learn the skills necessary to succeed!


  • Develop your Business Concept
  • Define and understand who your customer base is
  • Learn about money management and break even point
  • Study cash flow, pricing, taxes and financial statements
  • Design a marketing and sales plan
  • Develop your own business feasibility study
  • Obtain training and on-going support      

Free Winter Get Ready for Business Workshops & Orientations – Pick One! Continue reading

Ask SCORE: How do I get a business license?

Kitsap County does not require business licenses but the cities of Port Orchard, Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island and Bremerton each have business license requirements.

NOTE: Businesses NOT physically located in the city, but still doing work there, are required to obtain a license for the city. Business should check to make sure their use is compliant with land use and zoning.

All business must apply for a Master Business License from the Washington State Department of Licensing, which registers the business with the state departments of Revenue, Licensing, Labor and Industries, Employment Security, Secretary of State, and the Washington State Department of Commerce.

A new corporation locating in the State of Washington must file for Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State‘s office, which will issue a UBI (Unified Business Identifier) number.

5 overlooked options for financing your small business.

Need financing to start or grow your business? If you’re starting a business that requires significant financial investment up front, finding a source of funding can be a challenge. Many start-ups and new small businesses often find they may not qualify for a traditional small business bank loan. Without a proven track record of 3-5 years under your belt and/or established business credit, many banks simply won’t take the risk. But before you risk your life savings or re-mortgage your home, you should know about some possible alternatives.  Continue reading

What is a franchise and should you buy one?

You’ve heard the word “franchise,” but what exactly is one? A franchise refers to a system of doing business in which a parent company (the franchisor) sells the rights to a system of doing business to individuals (franchisees).

Each franchisee pays a franchise fee in order to buy into the system, then pays ongoing royalties for the right to continue using the franchise’s name and trademark. Most franchisors provide franchisees with initial training, as well as ongoing support that typically includes marketing materials, suppliers of inventory and more.

McDonald’s is probably the most famous franchise in America, but franchising isn’t limited to the fast-food industry. You can find franchises in just about every industry, from retail stores and restaurants to business and personal services, such as accounting, hair care and fitness.

Whatever type of business you’re thinking of starting, there’s probably a franchisor that can help you do it. But is buying a franchise right for you?  Continue reading

The road to small business success starts with the right first steps.

Building a successful small business requires a lot of time, thought, and planning. If you’ve never traveled the road to entrepreneurship before, you might find it overwhelming. With so many details to pay attention to, where should you begin?

Marc Goldberg, a SCORE mentor with business management and marketing expertise, has outlined some first steps that are appropriate for nearly every type of business:

  • Contact your local SCORE chapter to get guidance from a business mentor and learn what you can expect when starting a business. (
  • Determine your value proposition. What customer needs will you fulfill and do you have a large enough base of prospects with those needs?
  • Find a good attorney who specializes in small business issues. Legal formation, human resources issues, etc.  Continue reading