Saturday, September 15, 2007

Members of SCORE Chapter 114 Thank Bill Morland

Members of Chapter 114 thank Bill Morland for his dedication and leadership for the last 2 years. Through his innovation and effort, the chapter continues to rank in the top chapters in the nation. Job well done!

The results are in:

8,000 no-charge one on one counseling sessions for SCORE clients! 

11,000 no-charge email counseling sessions!

7,200 workshop attendees!

These are the numbers of local small business owners and aspiring business owners who have taken advantage of SCORE services conducted by SCORE Chapter 114 in the past two years. Many thanks to all of you.

On October 1st I will turn the Chairmanship of SCORE 114 over to Dr. Jack B. ReVelle concluding my two year tenure as Chapter Chairman. I am extremely proud of the volunteer contributions of our 95+ (numbers, not age) SCORE members who are the driving force behind the achievement of such a contribution to our small business community. And I am honored to have served as Chairman of such a stellar group of dedicated volunteers. Thank you SCORE 114 members.

I will of course remain very active in SCORE but wish to thank all of my SCORE colleagues, all of our SCORE clients and friends, and our national SCORE organization for the support and counsel during my tenure as Chapter Chair.

Meet the New Chairman of Chapter 114 - Dr. Jack Revelle

Dr. ReVelle (Jack to his many SCORE clients) holds a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Management from Oklahoma State University. He has held numerous positions and been honored many times over during his lengthy career. Here are some of the highlights.

Dr. ReVelle was the Founding Dean of the School of Business and Management at Chapman University and the Founding Chairman of the Decision Sciences Department at the University of Nebraska. He has held high level management positions at GenCorp Aerojet and Hughes Electronics. His honors include the Distinguished Economics Development Programs Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the Akao Prize from the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) Institute, and a Distinguished Faculty Award from the National Graduate School of Quality Management. Dr ReVelle is a published author of many books which are available on the internet.

Jack has been a SCORE counselor for three years and has a deep commitment to assist the local small business community. We are proud to be a colleague of his in SCORE and anticipate more record setting years for your SCORE chapter under his capable leadership.

Avoiding the QuickBooks” Electronic Shoebox”

This article was written by Dick Ginnaty, CPA

Years ago, the bane of accountants was the arrival of the client with the shoebox full of receipts, announcing that the box contained all their business receipts, and that everything the accountant would need was contained therein. Needless to say it took a lot of time to make sense of the contents of the box.

Well, there is a modern version, the shoebox is digitalized and it is contained in the QuickBooks file from some clients. I called it the “electronic shoebox”. It contains all the information the client thinks you need. The problem is that as untrained business people they have put the information into accounts and areas where it doesn’t make sense, and the accountant has to spend a lot of time unwinding the entries (and charging you for it).

The following hints are meant to help minimize the “electronic shoebox.

For checks and payments which you don’t know what to do, create an account called “suspense” as another asset account and charge the amount to that account. Your accountant can then analyze this account and distribute it to the appropriate accounts.

Establish a second “trial” company where you can try new things in QuickBooks to see if you will get the desired results before doing it in your real company file. Things that don’t work won’t contaminate the real data.

Sit down with your accountant before year end (November is a good month), and review your file. Accountants have more time available, and they can correct errors then. It serves the purpose of cleaning up your company file and having a year end review and tax planning session at the same time.

If you have just implemented QuickBooks, review your setup with your accountant within the first 30 days of usage. A lot of the “shoebox” effect happens upon startup, and the accounting for startup costs.

These are only a few suggestions, but avoiding the “electronic shoebox” will save you money, and give you a more accurate financial picture.

Good luck and here’s hoping it “all adds up” for you.

(If there is any area in accounting or tax that you think needs to be addressed in this newsletter please e-mail Dick at and if it is of general interest, he will address it in future articles).

Business Plan the Easy Way

This article was written by Hillel Pitlik, SCORE Orange County Management Counselor

Frequently, our SCORE clients start to write a plan without having gone through all the preliminary thinking needed to answer the many questions that surface during the planning process. I’m reminded of the definition of a lecture by a college professor. “A lecture is the process of the professor transferring the ideas in his lecture to the notes of the student, without passing thru the brains of either.” I submit that a method that allows for exploring the questions and developing the answers will, in the end, result in arriving at a well thought out plan for the business idea in question.

What is such a direct approach? In principle, it is a diary like method that captures the thinking of the prospective entrepreneur step by step. It starts by obtaining a ledger book with non-removable pages.

Start the process on the first left hand page of the diary. In 150 words or less write your business idea or description. To the left of the entry enter the date. The left hand pages are reserved for questions that arise during the process; the right hand pages are reserved for the answers, To the left of each question (on the left hand side) should be date of record. On the left hand page to the right of the question should be the projected date when you will have the answer to this question. When you answer the question, date the entry.

Each time a question occurs to you enter the question. As answers are obtained they will appear opposite the question they refer too. As the process progresses, answering of the questions may beg still other questions, and so forth.

Simple questions such as: “Who is the competition? What resources will I need? Where should I locate the business? Is my personal status such that embarking on the enterprise is reasonable? Etc. must be answered.

In addition, I recommend that you periodically, (bi-weekly) rewrite the business idea without reference to the original statement. Then compare the two, to see if the business concept has changed as the question/answer process has proceeded. Becoming aware of the subtle changes in the idea may well lead to a better business in the long run.

Many of the questions will deal with financial issues that must be answered with spreadsheets and cash-flow projections. Pasting in such entries is encouraged. Thus, the diary is the embodiment of the evolution of your business idea from start to Business Plan.

You should be aware of how successfully you have adhered to your question answering schedules. This self scheduling method will keep the process moving forward apace. In addition, it is beneficial to reread the diary periodically to assess your basic progress toward getting the business started.

The actual Business Plan is then, simply, an extract of the research that you have conducted thru the diary. Viola, that wasn’t so hard after all.


This article was written by Robin Noah, SCORE Orange County Management Counselor

I recently had a business owner ask if networking was good for a small business. My answer was a strong YES. Running a successful business is dependent on what you know, who you know and how well you know them in order to enhance your circle of influence. So yes, networking is a process businessperson should engage in. It is a marketing opportunity.

Business people like to associate with other business people, so attend networking events where business people will be in attendance. Networking allows you to meet, and establish a relationship with people who may not have heard of your business through any other means. Successful networking takes skill, planning and commitment.

Plan for your events by defining your goal and the strategy for achieving the goal. “How do you want to be remembered?"

In the beginning the goal may be to meet and present your business to at least 3 persons. Be prepared with the statement that describes your business. Work on developing an elevator speech. You need to prepare others to act as your “promoter”, just as you would do for them.

Consider the following:

  1. Visit a few groups a few times before you commit to any group. Get to now the rules of operations, what the fees are, if there are any limitations and what is offered to members. You need to be comfortable among the group you choose.
  2. Be prepared. Learn how to tell your story in a dynamic way. Develop an “elevator speech” or a pitch statement that grabs the attention of your audience. Keep in mind that success in businesses is in solving problems for clients in a fair, efficient and cost effective way. Tell why a client should pick your service/product above others.
  3. Have your promotion materials with you and lots of business cards. Collect business cards and use them to set up a database for promotional activities or to pass on leads.
  4. Follow up leads and referrals. Make appointments to meet potential clients.
  5. Thank the person giving you the referral/lead. Thank them for the opportunity to service their referral and offer to help them in the future as well.
  6. Measure your success. After each meeting review your goal to see if you met it. If it the easier it gets.

Remember that you know more about your business than other businesspersons at the event. Give a picture of your business and how it resolves clients’ issues in one or two sentences. Just enough to promote the response “tell me more..” That is the time that you go into details. If you do these things you will be remembered as being prepared and professional.