SCORE success stories
SCORE success stories
Michael Scotto: What amazes me is that people still do not know about SCORE. They do not know about the services we have and we provide. We have helped thousands of small businesses: start-ups, existing businesses, people that wanted to expand and grow their business and take it to the next level. We put together programs that help those people formulate strategies that lead to success. I mean, that is really what our foundation is.
Holly Thrasher: Before I went to SCORE of Ventura, I didn't have the slightest clue what the financial end of a business looked like, and frankly, it scared me to death.
Michael: Holly went to other counselors and she was getting discouraged because people were saying, "A candy store? You want to open a candy store in today's economic times? Are you crazy?"
Holly: I kept looking and I found SCORE Ventura and I gained so much knowledge. The counseling is free and the counselor will meet with you, discuss your business plan, go over your finances.
Michael: She also came through our workshop program and she took the whole series: how to start a business, how to put together your financial plan, how to put together your marketing plan.
Holly: I think SCORE Ventura helped me get my business off the ground.
Michael: So the result, she opens up her first store in Ojai, California, a huge, huge success.
Holly: I'm so excited. We are opening a second store in Santa Barbara so we have a family business growing now, and a lot of that is due to SCORE Ventura and their help with my business plan.
Michael: Mariaemma and Victoria. Yeah, the learning institute. They are two bright, bright individuals, very bright individuals.
Victoria Hodson: We started in 1999 when our book, Discover Your Child's Learning Style, came out.
Mariaemma Willis: Then we happened to take one of the workshops that was being given by a SCORE counselor.
Victoria: Afterword, we went up to the presenter and cornered him and said, "We need you."
Michael: They came because their business was stagnant. They wanted to take it to the next level.
Mariaemma: We created our own learning style profile.
Michael: They were only selling a few of those a month.
Mariaemma: He gave us ideas of how to look for free marketing and how to expand on that.
Michael: They are now, as I understand it, up to about 20,000 a month.
Mariaemma: What is so amazing is that all of this was free.
Michael: By putting the right programs together, by putting together marketing strategies and plans, they're now on their own, basically. We do meet occasionally, but they're doing it on their own and they are doing a great job of marketing their business.
Mariaemma: His dedication to us and how he just, he cared so much about our business and what we were doing.
Michael: We are really proud of them and that is another wonderful, wonderful story to tell.
Laura Wojciechowski: I manufacture cloth training pants and boutique-style cloth diapers. The company is really geared towards captivating a child and his imagination and his attention, and then focusing that into potty training, rather than gearing it towards the adults and being all stuffy. I was making them for my kids because I was dirt poor and a lot of people saw them, and they thought that it was a great idea and that I should do it and sell it.
Michael: My thing is that if you are going to have a good chance at success in opening a small business today, particularly in this environment, get educated. Come to counseling. It is free.
Laura: SCORE has really helped me organize and start thinking like a business, instead of thinking like a work-at-home mom or a crafter that is trying to make money on the side.
Michael: The expertise is wide and our depth is very deep. We have SCORE counselors in
Laura: One of my counselors helps me with sales.
Michael: Heavy in financial. Laura: He looks at my numbers for me and with me, and teaches me how to read them.
Michael: We have the people that have that expertise.
Laura: I love it because they gave me homework to actually come back and prove that I took what they said and applied it. SCORE has cost me nothing. It is amazing. They have cost me nothing and I can go every Friday if I want.
Michael: That is the wonderful part about it.