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The other day I was in the waiting area at the tire shop. I was sitting and relaxing with my coffee and reading a book on social media on my Kindle. I was using the time available to work on my business. Another customer was in the waiting area. He was staring through the big picture window into the shop. He was asking the tire shop employee endless questions about the process. Some people have a natural curiosity about things and a desire to learn, but this gentleman was coming across as very concerned with the fact that he had to let go of the control over his vehicle maintenance and let someone else do the work for him. I’m guessing he’s a micro manager in life and in his work.
But you may ask, “What if I want to hang my own shingle, who can help me out?” You may also ask, “I’ve already got my business but I need some extra help.” Well I’d like to share a well-kept secret for you.
The US Government – you know, those folks in Washington that tend to waste our time and our money – every now and then they manage to get something right. One of the things they’ve managed to get right is to have two different groups under the umbrella of the U.S. Small Business Administration. One is SCORE (which used to be Service Core of Retired Executives but they changed the name after they determined it makes the advisors sound too old) and the Small Business Development Centers.
Both services offer volunteer mentors, both services offer business counseling and both offer free or inexpensive workshops or webinars. SCORE seems to have a website that’s easier to navigate.
One thing to remember about both of these services is since they are under the umbrella of the Small Business Administration, part of the funding comes out of your tax dollars. So if you’re a tax paying citizen, you’ve ALREADY paid for them.
Remember, when you’re staring at the blank business plan or you’re down to your last cup of coffee, call the Small Business Development Center or SCORE. They’re from the government and they’re here to help you.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
This week I’m celebrating National Small Business Week. I’m going to take the 5 “work” days of the week and give 5 “shout outs” to local small businesses. John Donne said that “No Man is an Island,” and this is more than true in business. Even a solopreneur (an entrepreneur who works alone) needs a support team; collaborators, brainstorming partners, or someone to tell them to keep on keeping on when they’re staring at an empty cup of coffee and a blank idea sheet.
What does the life of a typical musician look like. Well I actually have no idea but for one musician her life looks like, Director of Children’s Choirs at her church, instructor at two high schools, private lesson in her home, instructor at a nearby community college, playing with a small combo, not to mention continually learning through classes and private lessons and playing with the local symphony orchestra.
(Excuse me while I go take a nap)
For any business, be it a coach or a gift basket designer or a photographer or a graphic artist or a musician, when you look at what they do and think “gee, that looks easy” remember many hours go into perfecting any craft or skill. So even if you don’t need use of someone’s particular skills, keep your eyes and ears open, because you just might know someone that needs some gifts or music or design or coaching or accounting services or contracting or … and if you know and trust someone, refer your friends to them.