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Explore Starting a Business

Suncoast Jobs has partnered with SCORE here in the Tampa to Naples region to assist persons in exploring business ownership. When it comes to starting a business, there are many variables to consider -- including the business concept, marketing, financial projections as well as funding sources. To aid and educate you in these specific areas, SCORE provides local workshops and personal mentoring services.


SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and small business owners get their business launched and off the ground. SCORE is comprised of highly successful and experienced business professionals nationwide who can mentor you and deliver valuable, timely, and practical advice to help you achieve your business goals.

Whether you are a start-up or an existing business, their mentors will help you and your business open new markets, reach new customers, and achieve new benchmarks. The SCORE network, which is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and nearly 13,000+ volunteers nationwide, is able to deliver services at no charge or at very low cost.
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SCORE Locations


Hillsborough SCORE
7402 N 56th Street Suite 465
Tampa, FL 33617
Phone: (813) 988-1435
Chapter Website
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Take a Workshop

Pinellas County SCORE
4707 140th Avenue North
Airport Business Center, #311
Clearwater, FL 33762
Phone: (727) 532-6800
Chapter Website
Find a Mentor
Workshop Schedule

Pasco-Hernando SCORE
6014 US Highway 19
New Port Richey, FL 34652
Phone: (727) 842-4638
Chapter Website
Find a Mentor
Workshop Schedule

Manasota SCORE
2801 Fruitville Road Suite 280
Sarasota, FL 34237
Phone: (941) 955-1029
Chapter Website
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Workshop Schedule

Port Charlotte SCORE
1777 Tamiami Trail Suite 411
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
Phone: (941) 743-6179
Chapter Website
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Workshop Schedule


Southwest Florida SCORE
3650 Colonial Blvd. Suite 231
Fort Myers, FL 33966
Phone: (239) 489-2935
Chapter Website
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Workshop Schedule

Naples SCORE
900 Goodlette Road North
Naples, FL 34102
Phone: (239) 430-0081
Chapter Website
Find a Mentor
Workshop Schedule

SCORE Workshops

Have you been considering starting a business? Would like help from SCORE about what to do, why you do it, when to do it and how to do it? If your answer is YES, then the Simple Steps Workshops are designed for you. New business owners will also benefit by attending workshop sessions. There are five Simple Steps Workshops focused on getting you to a final decision on starting your new business. The presenters are skilled, experienced and successful executives, business owners and professionals and are focused on your success.

Workshop 1 - Business Start-Up Basics ( FREE )

The topics covered in this workshop include:

-   Personal Factors
-   Personal Management
-   Business Opportunities
-   Myths about Owning a Business
-   Marketing
-   Organization, Insurance, Regulations
-   Requirements and Sources of Capital
-   Cash Flow Management
-   Business Planning
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Workshops 2 through 5 are designed to be taken as a series to give you tools and techniques you need to go ahead with final planning and start-up of your new business. The cost of each course is $25.00. You may sign up for one or all the workshops at the same time.

Workshop 2 - Business Concept

The topics covered in this workshop include:

-   Business Concept Development:
-   Business ideas, personal background, industry profile, business description, target markets, competition, potential vs. risk
-   Market Data Collection:
    -   Critical information data sources, demographics, customer data, competitors data
    -   A valuable Guidebook about Starting a Business in Florida is provided to attendees

After you attend Workshop 2, you will be assigned a SCORE mentor who will mentor you for FREE as you go through the remaining workshops and then maintain an ongoing FREE mentoring relationship as you successfully start and grow your new business.

Workshop 3 - Marketing Plan

The topics covered in this workshop include:

-   Product/service offering and description
-   Pricing strategy
-   Competition
-   Target markets
-   Distribution channels
-   Marketing strategies for target markets
-   Business structure

Workshop 4 - Financial Projections

The topics covered in this workshop include:

-   Developing a financial model and projections for your business
-   Use of the SCORE financial forecast model template
-   How to interpret financial information and use it to manage your business:
    -   Income Statement
    -   Cash Flow Statement
    -   Balance Sheet
    -   Financial Diagnostics
    -   Break-Even and Ratios
    -   Sources of capital
    -   Monthly budget
    -   Gross margins
    -   Sales forecast
    -   Cash receipts and disbursements

Workshop 5 - Funding Sources

The topics covered in this workshop include:

-   The Six C's of credit
-   Funding sources
-   Bank financing
-   Business Readiness Assessment