We often get questions about how to start a cookie business and the first thing I tell anyone is to start with SCORE. Whether you are still contemplating starting your own cookie business or you’ve already jumped in, SCORE is an organization you need to know well. As a business owner, you will quickly learn there is much more to running a cookie business than baking cookies. As e-myth author Michael Gerber would put it, the cookies are just the technical part of business. There are many other challenges coming at you as the leader of your business no matter if you are a home-based cookie business, open a retail shop or sell wholesale from a shared kitchen. However, the biggest question as you get started, might be where do you find the answers? Before spending hours doing aimless searches on the internet or spending money on costly training videos or specialists, try SCORE first. Here are just a few things you will find :
They have mentoring. Mentoring (volunteer experts at SCORE) is when someone who has experience passes that on to someone who doesn’t (that’s you). They offer a place for you to connect with someone (called networking), ask your questions, and get encouragement and advice. Best of all? It’s confidential and FREE.
They have workshops. They offer workshops online, and in some places local, that present valuable information on things you are facing or might not have even thought of yet as a small business owner. The workshops are conveniently grouped by categories, can be taken according to your tight schedule, and again, are at a very low cost, or FREE.
They have templates and tools. These are the things you know you need, but don’t have time or ‘know-how’ to put together on your own. Again, convenient and user-friendly, they can be downloaded when it works best for you. When you open a template to use, they even offer easy to use notes for printing and suggestions for reusing the templates.
They focus on small businesses just starting out. Besides mentoring, counseling, workshops, and templates, SCORE devotes an entire section just for new small businesses. This means you will find a smorgasbord of helpful information in an organized, easy to find, compiled area, to make it simpler for you to get the assistance you need quickly and efficiently in order to save time for other things like, oh, managing your business!
They support all types of entrepreneurs. You will find that SCORE has sections dedicated to diversity in small businesses. Are you a woman? Well, they have a section just for you. Are you over 50? They devote an area to your specific interests. What about minorities? SCORE is prepared for you and can help you, too. If your concerns are about being in a rural area or if you are a military veteran, SCORE has developed supports to address your particular concerns, as well as the unique concerns affecting other groups of diversity.
Whether you are in desperate need or think you have it all figured out, you can benefit from SCORE. As a cookie business owner, you are likely talented when it comes to making cookie and probably just as gifted in interpersonal relationships and communication with your clients. You know how to talk to your customers and make them feel welcome. But, before you get overwhelmed with those other business-related tasks, I urge you to check out SCORE and take advantage of what this generous organization has to offer you!