SCORE expands classes in response to demand
Finding itself with a hit product on its hands, the volunteer Service Corps of Retired Executives looks to extend the brand.
The hit product? A two-hour orientation to business for people who are thinking about launching an enterprise.
The sessions are scheduled several times a month in Reno and Carson City, and draw as many as 30 would-be entrepreneurs each time.
In fact, the sessions are popular enough that SCORE added sessions on Saturdays and weekends for folks who couldn’t attend the previous weekday schedule.
But two hours isn’t much time to cover anything in depth, and SCORE this year is venturing into longer seminars that take an in-depth look at a specific skill needed by entrepreneurs.
The next one, a four-hour session on marketing and advertising, is scheduled in Reno on June 19.
(It costs $35; for registration information call 784-4436.)
The seminars for neophyte entrepreneurs are but one point on a continuum of services provided by the fast-growing Reno chapter of SCORE.
Dick McConnell of Reno, a retired marketing executive with a unit of Fuji Photo Film, says the group’s members provide free and confidential small business counseling on subjects such as manufacturing to financial analysis and marketing.
The group’s 25 volunteers include retired executives in fields ranging from construction to franchise management and from mining to staffing agencies.
While much of their work involves start-up companies, McConnell says SCORE’s counselors also work with established companies that need a fresh look at a problem.
Members of the group last year volunteered an average of 174 hours each, and the Reno chapter has nearly doubled its client services since 2001.
Among the most important services provided by the group, McConnell says, is helping some people understand that they probably shouldn’t get into business for themselves.
Nationally, SCORE this year marks its 40th anniversary.
The organization includes 389 chapters in every state and U.S.
The Reno chapter of SCORE, which was launched in 1977, works closely with the Nevada Business Development Center at the University of Nevada, Reno.
For instance, SCORE strongly encourages its clients to undertake the “NxLeveL for Entrepreneurs” course provided by the business development center.
“If you’re going to produce roughly 80,000 ounces (of gold) a year at $800 an ounce … and gold is at $1,900 or $2,000 per ounce, that’s going to create a tremendous amount of cash flow.”