Small-business owners and managers often can benefit from advice from industry experts with many years of experience. The southeastern Wisconsin chapter of the Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE) can provide that resource.
SCORE is a group of experienced individuals, not necessarily retired, that can act as free business counseling mentors for small businesses and startups, said Frank Siebrecht, the chapter chair of the organization.
“Our main mission is to help small businesses succeed,” Siebrecht said. “Right now, the chapter has about 50 acting counseling members that function on a free basis for companies or business individuals that need us within the 10-county southeastern Wisconsin region.”
The counseling members can offer expert advice on a wide variety of business practices, Siebrecht said.
“We are here to counsel, not consult. We want to be a resource for good advice, let them know what they need to think about and lead them to additional community resources that might help them,” he said. “We are not here to write their business plan for them, or do their pay roll or cash flow estimates. That’s not what we do. We want individuals and companies who need help to come to our organization, and use our knowledge and experience to help them. We want to build relationships.”
Business owners can call the SCORE office for insight about issues such as the use of part-time employees, income statements, financing or breaking into the international market, Siebrecht said.
“We have experts that cover just about every topic imaginable, and if we don’t, we have access to 11,000 experts nationally from other SCORE chapters. Someone will be able to help,” he said.
As a national organization, SCORE was founded in 1964. The southeastern Wisconsin chapter was founded in 1965. The national organization of SCORE recently presented the first-ever SCORE Awards to clients across the country in recognition for their outstanding success in small business.
Kim Haas, president of Haas Media LLC, received the Outstanding Minority-Owned Business Award. Haas founded her media company in Milwaukee and later moved the headquarters to New Jersey. She still operates an office in Milwaukee and does work for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s highway reconstruction projects and is producing a Spanish language tourism campaign for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.
“Haas Media LLC and other businesses who participate in SCORE are fortunate to receive exceptional individualized counseling and mentoring services,” Haas said. “I know all of my company’s operations benefit immensely from SCORE’s services.”
Siebrecht is on a personal mission to recruit more volunteers to add firepower to the SCORE Wisconsin bench of available experts. For more information about SCORE or to express interest in becoming a SCORE expert, visit www.scoresewisconsin.org