Did I Expect Too Much From Score?

Decorating By MCook Updated 22 Oct 2007 , 1:19am by baergarivera

MCook Posted 16 Oct 2007 , 7:52pm
post #1 of 14

I had my first meeting this morning with a woman from S.C.O.R.E. and I left feeling very let down. Maybe I had the wrong idea of what they do--I was expecting them to maybe hand me forms or guidelines that would show me how to write a business plan and other important things I need to know like the food laws or health laws...????? I asked about renting kitchen space and she had never heard of such a thing . I got nothing but the same questions over and over..."what is your vision, where do you see your self in 3 years, how much money do you want to make..????

I had told her I wanted to start out by renting a kitchen until my business grew to the point I needed my own "space"--I don't want to go into debt for a business that might not ever make it.
She kept saying that she "wasn't hearing a vision".......? what the heck??
What was I misiing??? My vision is to own my own cake design business and make money doing it--what could be more plain than that???

She told me to go to all the compitition and check them out by asking questions as to how they started. I'm not comfortable with that--wouldn't another business clam up and NOT want to tell me how to start a competing business???? Most of the independant bakers around here require an appointment to sit and talk with them--can't see them making an appointment just for me to pick their brain!!

I learned about SCORE from this website and many of you seemed to praise them highly for their help, so is this the "norm"--the way they always start out with a new client?????
I was told to come back when my "vision" was written and then she would start on a business plan and go from there.
Do I need to just stick with them and see where it leads?
I value all you CCrs advice since many of you are in the same boat or have already been down this road.
Thanks for any advice.
Marcia

13 replies
idoweddingcookies Posted 16 Oct 2007 , 8:12pm
post #2 of 14

Hi

I feel your frustration.

I went to a program run by the government here in Canada. It was a great experience. You go to school for 3 months on putting together a business plan and then into all the operations etc of starting up a small business.
Before we got accepted into the program we did have to fill out an application form that had many questions in detail and had to go to our competition for info as well. Like you I didn't feel comfortable so what I did was emailed different bakeries not in our area (some here from CC) and asked questions. All were more than willing to help me since I wasn't in there area and no threat of competition to them.

I think when they are asking about your vision they want to know how you plan on starting it and where you would like to be in 3 yrs.

If you PM me with your email address I can send you a link to the application form that I had to fill out and I think you will get a good idea on what they are probably looking for.

indydebi Posted 16 Oct 2007 , 8:49pm
post #3 of 14

I hate canned questions! I've hired a number of people (in my corporate america life) and I NEVER asked the "where do you see yourself in 5 years?" crap!! It's such a bullsh** question. Unless you know for a fact that your company is NOT going to close it 's doors and move to Mexico in the next 2 years ....... !

"Vision" statements are another thing that I think is a big joke. You read every company's vision statement and they all, in effect, say "We are going to be the best at what we do for all of our customers." No shi*, sherlock!

I don't know what this woman's background was, but she sounds like she came from personnel, with emphasis on employee motivation, and not with running a real business.

I think you got stuck with a dud.

MCook Posted 16 Oct 2007 , 10:59pm
post #4 of 14

".....stuck with a dud"

Thank you!! that's exactly what I felt like but just couldn't put my finger on it! I felt like I was guiding HER--telling her what I was needing to know and asking how to go about it. I was asking pertinant questions and she just kept referring to "my vision" and not hearing passion when I spoke about my cake business.
Well excuuuuuuuse me if I didn't jump up and down and giggle and get all crazy! That's just not me. I'll get all warm and fuzzy when I see my name and logo on my first business card or advertisement.

I guess I was expecting "sample" business reports or plans for me to look and and go by or some sort of outline. I am interested in the forms you filled out, idoweddingcookies--I will contact you with my email address.
So, should I stick with this person or ask for someone else? Do I have a choice in who helps me or do I have to use who's assigned to me???

CAKEARTIST Posted 20 Oct 2007 , 4:09am
post #5 of 14

I felt the same way after dealing with people at SCORE. I have also found that most people who are already in business unfortunately do not want to help someone who is just starting out. I found a lot of information by taking classes where I could, going to the Fancy Food Show and meeting people, researching information online and so forth. I found that once I began searching out information, I came across more and more information. I am looking to begin my own cake and cookie business so I know how you feel. Your Business Library may be helpful as well. Also, check out lectures at Culinary Schools in your area. Networking events are also a good way to meet people that may have done what you want to do. Just keep searching for information in your area and I believe you will begin to build a wealth of knowledge. Just don't give up!

Alligande Posted 20 Oct 2007 , 12:57pm
post #6 of 14

This is a topic that can get my blood pressure boiling - I had a terrible time with score, I could write a novel but will make it brief.
I was trying to get a women owned business loan for a restaurant I was buying with a (male patner) I was treated to ignorance about the food business (no clue on the margins) condension ( who put your business plan together for you) and chauvinism ( what does your husband think) They pulled my chain for so long that we almost loss the deal, my partner and I went straight to the bank and got the loan without any problem.
I had a lot of luck working with a State organisation that provided me with a business consultant who helped with finding the loan, they also provided his services for free when we expanded.

MCook Posted 20 Oct 2007 , 11:11pm
post #7 of 14

While I was at SCORE, there was another woman in the room. When I asked my person about renting a kitchen, this woman offered some suggestions after my person came up blank.
WELL, she called me and left a name and number on my machine of a man to contact who runs one of the VFW posts!! Said he thought he could help and was expecting my call!! Yippee.
It was too late to call and today I've had "family things" to do, but I am calling tomorrow afternoon! Keep your fingers crossed !!! thumbs_up.gif

peggyfci Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 12:11am
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCook

While I was at SCORE, there was another woman in the room. When I asked my person about renting a kitchen, this woman offered some suggestions after my person came up blank.
WELL, she called me and left a name and number on my machine of a man to contact who runs one of the VFW posts!! Said he thought he could help and was expecting my call!! Yippee.
It was too late to call and today I've had "family things" to do, but I am calling tomorrow afternoon! Keep your fingers crossed !!! thumbs_up.gif


Hi
OMG! I thought it was just me. Here in OH I asked for help from SCORE on opening a tea room. I just needed a little more help on the business plan. The mentor they gave me was so negative! He tried everything to talk me out of it. Then he said,"if you are so hell bent on it then work on the business plan, and call me back". A month later he called to check on me and I told him that I was so so so busy at work. He said, "good keep your job and give up this silly idea". I want my tea room and spent $100 on software to help me with this plan I am stuck on page 13. I don't know where to turn next so I just cook from my home.

Hippiemama Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 12:21am
post #9 of 14

I think the quality of the SCORE offices vary greatly between locations. I know that the mentors are volunteer, but come on, there should be some strict guidelines for who can volunteer.

I went to a meeting at an office and was not impressed. I did not schedule another meeting.

bobwonderbuns Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 12:34am
post #10 of 14

When I was in the corporate world, I had an appointment with someone in my field and yet when I got there he stuck me with some guy from SCORE. Worse than useless!! He was a retiree who knew nothing about my field and very little outside of a textbook on getting a particular kind of business started. I did some checking later and found out that most people who have encountered SCORE have had similar experiences. Cheer up Sweetie, you're not alone! icon_smile.gif

CakeryBakery Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 12:54am
post #11 of 14

If you have a small business development center nearby they might be a great resource. Our local SBDC helped us write a great business plan and secure the loan we needed to move our business from home based to store front.

cakesbyallison Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 12:59am
post #12 of 14

Don't be hesitant to talk to other cake businesses in your area. I did when I was in your position - and sure I found a couple to be less than interested - but also found a couple that were more than helpful. We still touch base and have even received referrals from them (and vise versa).
That's networking!

baergarivera Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 1:19am
post #13 of 14

Hi All.

I feel your fustration on the SCORE Delema, I went to them for help OMG icon_confused.gificon_confused.gif I came out more confuse than anything else., ANY WAYS ME and my NEW YORK ATTIDE SAID F^%$ THEM LOL icon_mad.gificon_redface.gif There has to be a better way out of this f*&^%*^ mess,. Well I look in the yellow pages and came across this wonderful website which I hope it can help you guys I pray to god it does couse it's helping me getting all this s&t square away.
WWW.SBA.GOV
THIS WEBSITE IS FOR SMALL BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONG THAT WILL HELP YOU WITH ALL THE DRAMA OF BUSINESS ALSO THEY HAVE SOMEONE THERE TO ANSWER ALL THE STUPID QUESTIONS WE THINK WERE ASKING AND THEY ARE NOT STUPID.

SBA Answer Desk
1-800-U-ASK-SBA (1-800-827-5722)
Send e-mails to: [email protected]
I PRAY THAT THIS HELPS YOU ALL AND GOD BLESS. HEY DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS

PUSH : PRAY UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENDS. thumbs_up.gif

Michelle thumbs_up.gif

O BEFORE I FORGET CALL YOUR LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT THEY CAN TELL YOU ABOUT RENTING KITCHENS EACH STATE IS DIFFERENT. GOOD LUCK

baergarivera Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 1:19am
post #14 of 14

Hi All.

I feel your fustration on the SCORE Delema, I went to them for help OMG icon_confused.gificon_confused.gif I came out more confuse than anything else., ANY WAYS ME and my NEW YORK ATTIDE SAID F^%$ THEM LOL icon_mad.gificon_redface.gif There has to be a better way out of this f*&^%*^ mess,. Well I look in the yellow pages and came across this wonderful website which I hope it can help you guys I pray to god it does couse it's helping me getting all this s&t square away.
WWW.SBA.GOV
THIS WEBSITE IS FOR SMALL BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONG THAT WILL HELP YOU WITH ALL THE DRAMA OF BUSINESS ALSO THEY HAVE SOMEONE THERE TO ANSWER ALL THE STUPID QUESTIONS WE THINK WERE ASKING AND THEY ARE NOT STUPID.

SBA Answer Desk
1-800-U-ASK-SBA (1-800-827-5722)
Send e-mails to: [email protected]
I PRAY THAT THIS HELPS YOU ALL AND GOD BLESS. HEY DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS

PUSH : PRAY UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENDS. thumbs_up.gif

Michelle thumbs_up.gif

O BEFORE I FORGET CALL YOUR LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT THEY CAN TELL YOU ABOUT RENTING KITCHENS EACH STATE IS DIFFERENT. GOOD LUCK thumbs_up.gif

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