Happy New Year! Welcome to 2018. I hope the recent holiday season was good to you personally and professionally. Now is the time to reflect on the season and make notes for next year. What worked, what didn’t and what opportunities could you have taken advantage of but weren’t prepared? How do you get prepared to take advantage next year? After you write down the answers to those questions, ask yourself, what lessons have you learned, about yourself, about your business and about your market? What changes do you need to make now to make your business more successful throughout the year?

Did you capture customer contact information from all your new customers? How will you use your database? Maybe start with a thank you for stopping by. Create or refresh your newsletter and plan dates and topics for 2018. Take a little time now to work on your business instead of in your business.

I am doing my planning for this column for 2018. I plan to continue to bring you advice and direction on how to grow your business. I hope the information I’ve provided up to now has helped. I will look for and research new thoughts on how to make your business more efficient and more effective. I will bring that information to you so you stay up to date.

I will also provide you with information about training opportunities; remember #7 “Sharpen the Saw”. There are webinars and training videos and in person workshops available through the SBA and SCORE National websites and the Port Charlotte SCORE Chapter Website. For instance, next Tuesday, January 9th will be the beginning of the 2018 Busey Bank Lunch and Learn series in Port Charlotte. The Entrepreneurial Academy begins on January 17th, the Grow Your Business evening workshops will begin in February and the North Port Lunch and Learn will begin in March. Check out our website portcharlotte.score.org for complete information.

From time to time I will share with you some of the success stories of businesses that have been mentored by the volunteers of Port Charlotte SCORE. I think it’s important for you to see how businesses in the area have used the resources available to them to grow their business. Mentoring works. The SCORE website reports “Small Business owners who receive three or more hours of mentoring report higher revenues and increased growth”.

If you have questions about doing business, I want to hear them. Send them to me. If the answer can be used by many businesses I will put it in one of these columns. If it is specific to your business, I’ll answer you in an email or refer you to a mentor to help you work through the problem.

The SCORE Fall 2017 Small Business Report I wrote about in the last column, said the attitude of small business owners towards the future was very positive. I want this column to be a tool that will help you and your business grow to the level you want it to be. Send me your comments, suggestions and questions. Let me know your thoughts at eddavis@scorevolunteer.org. I look forward to another great year.

 

Port Charlotte SCORE is a Chapter of The SCORE Association, dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses by educating and mentoring entrepreneurs. Volunteers provide confidential business advice to meet the needs of both start-up and existing entrepreneurs at no cost. Request a mentor at www.portcharlotte.score.org. To learn how you can become a mentor call Don Benjamin at 941-249-4440. Follow us on Twitter; @charlottecscore

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