Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Conventional Wisdom Upended

Not-for-profit organizations used to be told that they needed to operate more like for-profits if they wanted to become truly successful.

Well, a lot of them took that advice and are thriving (or were, before donations tanked due to recession).

And now, the same advice is being turned back on the small business owner, according to this week's podcast guest, Roger Sametz.

My Smart Answers column chronicles my visit to a speed-coaching event last week in Anaheim.

Frankly, I was skeptical about how much help entrepreneurs could really get in 30 minutes with a SCORE counselor.

But honestly, an experienced counselor can touch on a lot of solid business information in half an hour! I was pleasantly surprised after sitting in on several sessions. And of course the real purpose of the event is to bring entrepreneurs together to network, encourage each other and hook up with the organization's long-term help and support.


  1. Karen, I understand your initial skepticism about how much can be accomplished in a half an hour. But it works because few business owners know anything near what they need to know to sucessfully run their business. So what the counselor/consultant says in that half hour often does help quite a bit.


  2. You're absolutely right, Bill.

    From what I saw, many concepts can at least be introduced in that 30 minutes. While it's not possible to have an in-depth discussion about any of them, the entrepreneur gets a sense of how much s/he is missing.

    And of course the stage is set for additional counseling, which the entrepreneur is primed to pursue after realizing how much still needs to be learned.

  3. Suggestion to all business owners reading this, the small ones in particular.

    There is a wealth of experience and help available to you at no cost, much of it easily located online. Sites like Micro Mentor (https://www.micromentor.org/) and SCORE (http://www.score.org/index.html) and what I think of as "aggregators" such as Karen and my own work at Business Wisdom (http://tinyurl.com/85mxlx).

    Take advantage of it! It's free and you will learn much more than you can possibly imagine