Central Virginia Business Plan
Fiscal Year 2012 Business Plan of
Central Virginia SCORE Chapter 494
SCORE, Central Virginia Chapter 494
P.O. Box 865
East Market and 5th Streets
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Web Site: www.score-494.org
SCORE Chapter Central Virginia's mission is to satisfy the needs of our clients by providing the best business advice possible so they can make informed decisions on their business issues and providing quality workshops for entrepreneurs, small business owners and non-profit organizations on the fundamentals of starting and running a successful business.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Mission Statement...................................................Page 2
Chapter Membership and Operations..................... Page 4
Our Market.............................................................. Page 6
2009 Results and 2010 Goals ................................ Page 7
Plans and Objectives for FY 2009........................... Page 9
2010and 2011 Actual and 2012.......................... Page 16
2011 Service Budget …................................... Page 17
Chapter Membership and Operations
As of October at the start of the fiscal year 2012, SCORE Chapter- Central Virginia has a membership of 23 counselors who are engaged in face-to-face counseling, seminar presentations, and local and national e-mail counseling. We have two prospective members who will meet with the executive committee this month.
During the past year SCORE Chapter- Central Virginia has continued joint counseling sessions with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Entrepeneur' Express in the surrounding counties and we will continue to do so this year. We are also continuing to bring our Workshops to the Quantico Marine Base.
We will also be working closely with the Community Investment Collaborative, a new micro loan organization in Charlottesville,Va., to develop workshops for their clients.
The Chapter has agreements with the following professional groups to provide one half hour of pro-bono counseling to any client desiring advice: Business Law, Bookkeeping and accounting, Insurance Brokerage, Human Resources, Web Design, Computer Animation, Public Relations and Advertising.
The Chapter continues to conduct sessions four days each week; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in one hour increments from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesday and on Tuesday and Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. This is a departure from the past when we only counseled on Monday and Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We feel this better accommodates our client’s available time by having the two additional days to choose. The number of counseling sessions per week remains the same. This makes the office available on a scheduled basis for anyone who needs it for a follow up session with a client.
After the initial counseling session, client appointments are scheduled at mutually convenient times and places. In addition to counseling sessions, a member volunteers for an office session once a month. Duties for the office session include answering the telephone, collecting the mail from the Post Office answering e-mails as well as other general office duties.
This past year has been a challenge to our Chapter in the pursuit of improvements to our website. We delayed a re-design of our Chapter's website on the expectation of the new m\national website. From April, the expected roll-out date of the national website until the first of this year, we have been paralyzed on what are our options on the new national website.
We are now in the process of creating a more appealing web presence to our clients and to provide information on our Chapter to mentors , clients, and the public. This information would include the following:
Membership Skills Matrix
Resources for Consultation
Chapter By – Laws
During this fiscal year we plan to re-design and update our local web-site and integrate it with National's new web-site.
Central Virginia Chapter’s geographic area is a diverse community. It is made up of nine counties. The area is composed of a combination of rural agricultural, suburban and sophisticated urban communities. By far, the economic engine of the community is the University of Virginia. The attractiveness of the area draws many retired executives and former business owners from many disciplines. It is this resource that provides us with an excellent pool of highly qualified counselors.
Our economic vitality is challenged both short and long term. The current recession, hopefully now improving, is the short term challenge and the longer term is a continuing loss of manufacturing jobs. These challenges create an opportunity for our Chapter to serve the community. Many of the people who have lost employment in this environment consider starting a business as one of their options and come to SCORE for help in evaluating this option. Additionally, there is a growing market of people who have retired and are embarking on a second career.
2011Results and 2012 Goals
Performance vs Goals for the year 2011 were lower in all categories and that is disappointing.
There has been some concern that reports may not have been accurate due to the failure of the national website earlier in the year. And, too, the economy has not been accommodating to new start ups.
Our cash position declined by $1,481.00. This was principally due to a $2,000.00 shortfall in our revenues from workshops. We do have $4,075.00from our Perry Fund grant for web design that can now be used for marketing expenses as well. Now that we know the capabilities of the national website we will proceed to invest in upgrading our local website. We should enjoy a substantial savings in our development cost by being able to piggy back on the national website.
During the past year we implemented new qualifications and procedures and out lined the responsibilities for new members.
In Fiscal Year 2012 we will aggressively solicit contributions from local banks and other businesses in the community in recognition of the beneficial role SCORE plays in assisting their clients to put together reasonable business plans. Too, we will identify successful entrepreneurs in our community and solicit their support. The local economy being what it is will make fund raising a challenge as there are over 700 non-profits in our area.
Our Chapter Chair is a member of the Small Business Development Corp. Advisory Council which meets once a quarter. The SBDC does an excellent job of providing seminars to our surrounding counties. The counties make considerable dollar contributions to the SBDC and they in turn provide seminars for free. The Chapter Chair is also a member of the Chamber of Commerce Community Council. This allows the Chair to meet with Board of the Chamber quarterly.
The Chapter will continue to market to non-profits in an effort to attract new clients. We will continue our participation in The Center for Non-Profit Excellence’s activities and seminars. The Center currently has over 250 members.
PLANS AND OBJECTIVES FOR FY 2012
Our primary goal for 2012 is to continue the high quality of performance in both the areas of seminars and counseling. Additional initiatives will be to raise the visibility of SCORE throughout our area. To achieve this, we will increase our efforts in public awareness and local fund raising.
Two initiatives that our Chapter began pursuing last year, Local E-Mail Counseling and The Advisory Board have had limited results thus far. We believe that with a stronger promotion strategy these programs will bear fruit this year.
Our Local E-Mail Counseling program should benefit from the assignment of specific counselors to our less populated counties. To that end, counselors have already joined the Chamber of Commerce in Louisa and Fluvanna counties and we are establishing a larger footprint in Orange, Nelson, and Culpepper counties through Entrepeneur's Express and other activities.
Our second initiative, The Advisory Board has been slow to develop,but we are in the process of re-designing the program to require less time of the client and have it be more attractive.
In 2012 we will aggressively seek to raise funds. We will do this by soliciting successful entrepreneurs in our community. The banks and other financial institutions are probably stressed at the present time, so a new strategy will be necessary if we are to be successful.
To promote these programs we are putting together a new promotion package. The package will contain the professional biographies of our counselors. We will format these resumes in a consistent manner add a little art work and a professional cover and use this package to promote SCORE and fund raise.
Chairperson: Jack Peltier
The mission of the Marketing Committee is to promote SCORE as the most effective resource for assistance and counsel to the business community and the public at large
The purpose of an active, result oriented,marketing program for SCORE is to:
. Increase the awareness of SCORE and the services it offers in its assigned territory
. Increase the number of clients served by this Chapter through:
Face to face counseling and mentoring
Work Shop programs
On line Counseling
Advisory Board program
. Increase client satisfaction, thus earning more clients
SCORE mentoring and counseling activities which are the very base of this chapter’s existence have come under strong competition from educational, chamber-affiliated, and state-sponsored organizations.
The well-known SCORE workshops which have been offering instruction and guidance to the business community and the many start up companies for years and providing an important part of the Chapter’s revenues, have faced competition of similar intensity.
It is therefore of the utmost importance that SCORE Chapter 494 implement a strong marketing effort as outlined in this report so as to preserve and increase its market share. These recommendations are as follows:
A company website has grown to become a very important part of the marketing effort. Internet marketing now starts at the landing page where first impressions are made.
In order to make sure that the chapter website is a superior marketing tool, the Marketing Committee requires expert assistance with its input to the website in the following areas:
- Best possible marketing message
- Clarity, ease of use, navigation and friendliness of the website
- Writing for Marketing on the internet
- Search engine analysis
- How to be found on line
- How to keep track of the website performance
This is considered as the No. 1 Marketing priority. As soon as this is completed, a special promotion will be prepared to introduce and feature the New SCORE WEBSITE.
- Billboard advertising will continue, thanks to the generosity of Lamar Advertising. The Schedule and location of the billboards will be announced quarterly, as in the past.
Our activities in social networking and blogging will be continued, and participation on the part of a few more members is requested.
In order to benefit from a considerable discount, SCORE has, with the Executive Committee’s approval, booked 1 (one) month of radio advertising with Charlottesville radio station WINA
This campaign is to start mid-January 2012. It consists of a total of 60 on-air spots and 140 streaming spots over a four week period. The text for the spots have been written and are ready.
The balance of the projected radio campaign has not as yet been formulated.
The Business License division of Albemarle County has agreed to distribute SCORE business cards to all applicants for a business license. This is to start on January 2, 2012. We expect for the city of Charlottesville to do the same, and the outlying counties will be contacted and asked whether they can do likewise. Other counties data bases (without e-mail addresses) will also be assembled to determine how they can be processed and used for the benefit of SCORE.
ASK SCORE business articles are still with the Daily Progress but have not been used recently. We understand that occasional use of these articles by the newspaper will be resumed in the future.
News Blasts & Newsletters
Regular releases of news blasts and announcements about SCOREto our large and improved database will likewise continue. Articles featuring SCORE clients’ success storiesandinformation on current SCORE workshops schedule and topics will be the mainstays of these communications.
- Continued participation in the Chamber of Commerce – sponsored Business Expos twice a year
- Closer cooperation with the local Chamber of Commerce, and SCORE’s attendance at several of their events including Business After Hours is highly beneficial to the Chapter and should be implemented. A roster should be prepared, designating several members who would take turns attending these functions to represent SCORE
- Participation in, and co-sponsoring of, events with SBDC and SBA will be continued.
- Cooperation with VDBA (Virginia Department of Business Assistance) with the Entrepreneur Express and other events is likewise continuing.
- SCORE liaison with regional and counties Chambers of Commerce business associations by attending their business meetings.
- Giving a presentation about business topics or about SCORE is an important way to make our chapter better and better known to the communities. We need several volunteers who can effectively handle this important segment of public relations
Two local marketing programs which were temporarily suspended last summer will be reinstated:
The Advisory Board Program provides the small business or start up with the type
of advice needed when business challenges take place or when a better internal organization needs to be organized. The SCORE team is selected so as to match the needs of the client.
There is no charge for this service
The Bank Officers Contact Program started in early last year and worked well. We believe that the formula of informal gatherings at the bankers’ offices after business hours over a glass of wine and snacks was well accepted and should be continued.
Both programs will directly benefit from our advertising campaign and will be further promoted via blogs and regularly scheduled mini-newsletters.
Developing Non Profits
Chairperson: Roger Curran
The objective of this committee is to increase the visibility of SCORE in our non-profit community. The committee has developed plans and tactics to have the non-profits think of SCORE whenever they have a need for business solutions
Actions that may be necessary are:
- Become known in the non-profit community as their principle source of business counseling.
- Increase our understanding of the particular business challenges of non-profits.
- Communicate this understanding to all chapter members
- Work with the Center for Non-Profit Excellence and the Non-Profit Council of our Chamber of Commerce
- Develop a Non- Profit marketing plan.