Help for starting a business

Where to start after you’ve had that great idea.

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Photo by Alexander Dummer on

Free is for me!

Over a year ago, I had the opportunity to participate in a free, twelve week self-reliance workshop titled, “Starting and Growing My Business.” I was there as a volunteer to facilitate the program. The previous year I was able to facilitate a program called, “Personal Finance for Self-Reliance.” (Also free!) As a result, I gained some valuable information I’d like to share with you.

During one of our sessions a participant made a marvelous suggestion! Get in touch with Little did I know what wealth of (FREE) information would be at my finger tips! What is SCORE, you ask.

SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals. Since 1964, we have provided education and mentorship to more than 11 million entrepreneurs.

SCORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Thanks to this generous support from the SBA and because of the selfless contributions of our more than 10,000 dedicated volunteers, we are able to deliver most of our offerings at no cost.

As I was beginning my journey to become a life coach, I decided to check out this amazing resource to see what it had to offer. They did not disappoint. SCORE has a free online library of information. You can watch all kinds of webinars for free by experts in various fields. Most importantly, you can be put in touch with a mentor. Yep, also free. (Before Covid, those mentor/mentee visits were done in person at the local chapter. Now you can get in touch by phone call or Zoom call.)

Help from a mentor

I scheduled a call from a mentor. My mentor (Tom) called me after doing some research on life coaching. As a result, he had a general idea of what a life coach was and we had a great discussion about how I could use my skills/expertise. After that, Tom had a handful of practical ideas to make the business official. (Registering my business with the Secretary of State. Getting an EIN number with the federal government. Creating a business bank account. Getting liability insurance.) Additionally, Tom asked me a number of questions to get me started thinking about a niche, the local competition, and what I had to offer. Lastly, he highlighted a couple of SCORE webinars to help me with a some of areas of concern.

I was over the moon happy with my free mentor chat. Tom answered the questions I asked and he answered some I hadn’t asked. After that I started doing those official things that I’d been putting off because I wasn’t sure about exactly what to do. Woot, woot! Now we’re cooking with butter. (Or whatever low fat, organic, better for you thing you cook with.)

  • EIN – Employer Identification Number (FREE)
  • SOS – Secretary of State (file with your state, cost varies)
  • Bank – Money is what drives us so get your account so you can get paid (each bank has different requirements, I went with a credit union)
  • Client Contract – A safe guard for you and your clients (FREE templates available, ask the Google)
  • Business Cards – Looks cool and helps you get clients (FREE if you make them yourself. I got some great discounts with coupons from Honey.) This link gives me some cred!
  • Liability Insurance – Because you don’t want to lose your house (NOT FREE but you get to keep your stuff away from any sue happy clients.) Peace of mind: FREE

Done & Done

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