By Vic Cole, Santa Barbara County Score

While organizing your thoughts may seem like a daunting task, seeking help with your business is a first step to solve your problems or take it to the next level. As done in this list, breaking down your questions into different categories can help make it seem easier to manage.​ Whether you are starting or have a established business, here is what you should consider to get the most help from SCORE.  Your SCORE Mentor can assist with any points where you have questions.

  1. BENEFITS:  Why would your current or prospective customers buy products or services from you?  What specific benefits will they get?
  2. HOW UNIQUE:  What makes your product/services better, or at least different from your competitors?  At a minimum, what is likely to be perceived as unique.
  3. FROM WHOM:  Who is the customer for your product or service?  Whose perceived wants or needs does it address?
  4. REACHING BUYERS:  How will you tell prospective customers about your business?  How much will you have to spend to reach them?
  5. HOW WILL YOU SELL:  Will you sell directly to users, through retailers or distributors?  At what Cost?
  6. MARKET SIZE:  Are there enough prospects for your business to thrive or at least not lose money?
  7. YOUR COSTS:  Will your make or buy products/services to sell?  How and where?  What will your costs be?
  8. START UP FUNDS:  How much will you need before you make the first sale?  How and where will you get the money?  At what cost to you?
  9. STAYING SOLVENT:  Month by month, what is your expected income?  Your expected expenses?  How to forecast and estimate results for the second year in business?


A SCORE Mentor can assist you with any one or all the above points.  To contact SCORE for help, sign up at

Nine Ways to Help Your Mentor Help You