Thursday, September 16, 2010

An Afternoon with SCORE

I went to my first SCORE meeting today. This is a branch of the Small Business Administration that has offices in every state that work with small business owners succeed with advice and mentoring. These are retired business people with a variety of backgrounds who volunteer with FREE expert advice. I met with Ben, retired after 34 years at General Foods head of their marketing. Albert, former project manager of large development construction projects. Vincent, a project manager of a Fortune 200 (200?? I thought it was Fortune 500!) company. 90 years of business experience at one conference table. Another man, Jim, who came later, started almost every sentence with, "The law says......" He really knew about the law. I didn't get his story, but I highly suspect he is a retired certified public accountant.

What an eye opening experience this was. I wasn't doing a lot of things by the book but these are things that can quickly be taken care of to get me on the right path after my first meeting.

I have to get Quickbooks. Once I get on that program, I can fire my bookkeeper, which they deem, an unnecessary expense. I've had years of unnecessary expense. I cringe to think of that. I thought I didn't need Quickbooks. They told me it's a must. I will go out tomorrow and get it. You can get online support and my SCORE has a Quickbooks seminar class. They have webinars on several business subjects.

I provide a service that I don't tax because the finished product is for resale. So I have to get a Resale Certificate from all my clients.

Get my company either Limited Liability Company or Corporation. Why?? In case I get sued.
Will I really get sued? You could lose your house, they said. Oh....

Charging a 1 1/2% late payment fee on any over due invoices from the date I send them after my terms. My terms are 15 days. That's 15 days. NOT 15 "business" days. 15 days after the date. October 1, 2010 invoice will get a 1 1/2% late fee charge every 30 days as of October 16, 2010. They told me if I don't get paid by a client on their due date, not to send product back and refuse to do any more work for that client. They told me that I am not a bank, I am not loaning money to my clients. I did a service, I should get paid, that's it. No more Ms Nice Lady. Gulp!

Offer a 5% cash discount on invoices paid within 5 days. That one I really liked. Who wouldn't take advantage of that?

They set me up for counseling for next week, same time, same place. I have 7 days to show them I mean business so they can help me solve problems and move me forward to greater success. I highly recommend this free service to any newbie in business. BEFORE you get in too far. They really want you to do the right things, the right way, step by step. I have my work cut out for me but I'm really looking forward to their wisdom and experience. Go find your local office and set up an appointment, NOW!

Putnam County
34 Gleneida Avenue
Carmel, NY 10512


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