Venture capital is just the beginning – the easy part although most founders who have successfully raised venture capital would probably laugh at that.  Once the capital is raised to start growing the company a founder might think he or she is off and running with bigger and better things ahead, which hopefully they are.  But eventually, if the business succeeds and continues to grow reality begins to set in and the founder has to start managing a real business with all its pieces and parts taking attention away from what the founder really wants to do.  

Most founders are really good at what they started.  They love it and have a passion for it and are determined to make it succeed.  But a business is like a football team.  Success requires blocking and tackling – the stuff that hurts and isn’t fun, and without it the team is unlikely to succeed.  Staying on top of cash flows, keeping track of costs, keeping accurate and current financial statements, hiring, and firing and on and on – these are the blocking and tackling that makes a business successful.  Sometimes the owner needs help and doesn’t know where to find it.

It can often be found at SCORE – one of the resource partners of SBA.  The over 11,000 SCORE mentors around the country are mostly retired business people and business owners who provide expert, confidential advice to small business owners – both startup and existing, at no cost.  In 2017 SCORE helped create over 50,000 new businesses and provided thousands of hours of free mentoring to both startup and existing small businesses.  In the Richmond, Virginia chapter alone SCORE mentors provided over 2,200 hours of mentoring services.  Over half of SCORE’s clients are women and nearly 40% minorities.  SCORE is worth knowing about if you miss that block or tackle.  Or before.

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