SCORE has collaborated with Canon USA to launch Simple Steps to a Well-Run Business, a program for in-business clients that includes a 3-part educational series (the Series) and follows up with the opportunity for facilitated roundtable discussions on client-driven topics (the Roundtables).
Use the toolkit outlined below to help you execute this program in your chapter. Client engagement data shows that local workshop programs are a way to meet the needs of the small business community as effectively or even more effectively than mentoring.
Be aware that this program is not for all chapters. Review the materials and determine if this program will fill an unmet need in your community and allow for growth of services for your clients in your chapter.
This program started with Sacramento SCORE in 2011 and has proven to be a first step in a long-term relationship between SCORE and clients. Program originators, Jack Mayfield and Bill Duthler, served over 700 small business owners from 2011-2015 in the Sacramento, CA, area.
With 29 million small businesses in the United States, SCORE has an opportunity to serve more of these businesses through this program.
The three-part series relies on a straightforward introduction to six key concepts that are simple and direct. The series gives clients a common language to use to work through business challenges. The message is: Here are six simple concepts. If you get these right, you’ll be ahead of your competitors. The series content is targeted at in-business clients and concise by design. Resist the temptation to add content or delve more deeply into the six areas. Once the foundation is laid and common language exists, innovation and creativity are encouraged in the Roundtables and in the development of additional tailored services to meet the clients’ needs.
PrepaRing for the 3-part series:
- Logistics Guide – This takes you through all the details to run a successful program. For example, how to find the right SCORE volunteers to offer the program, an overview of who the participants are, and a timing checklist for planning from 3 months out to the first day of the series.
- Facilitator’s Guide – To support you in facilitating each of the sessions of the 3-part series, this guide provides best practices for preparing for the session and instructional approaches for delivering the curriculum. The three-part series relies on a straightforward introduction to six key concepts that are simple and direct. Remember, it’s important to choose facilitators who have small business experience, presentation and content expertise, and the ability to stick to the key concepts.
- Sample Flyer – The flyer can be distributed at other workshops, partner venues and events, and at the chapter office. It is customizable so you can include specific dates and times for your event.
- Constant Contact – A template is provided for marketing via your chapter’s Constant Contact account. These templates are already available in your account as templates and are titled:
- “You Are Invited” - Invitation to Series
- “A Reminder for Your Special Invitation” - Invitation to Series - Reminder
- “Don’t Miss the Chance to Learn from Your Peers” - Invitation/Information on Roundtables
- Media Promotions
- Social media promotions and blog posts are another way to market the workshop series to your community. You can use the templates of social media posts for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Or – share the blog posts on your site, or with your community partners. Be sure to add local information and customize it to meet your needs.
- Press Releases are a great way to advertise upcoming events. Use this Press Release Template to market the workshop in your community. Distribute it to your partners as well! For information on how to distribute, take a look at SCORE's Public Relations Resources.
PRESENTING the 3-part series:
- Sample Sign-in and Sign-up Sheet – This is a sample sign-up sheet that can be created for the series to record attendance at each of the three series’ sessions and give small business owners an opportunity to sign-up for the Roundtables. If using Constant Contact, this information can be easily exported to create a sign-in and sign-up sheet.
- PowerPoint Presentations – There is a complete PowerPoint presentation for each of the three sessions to help you facilitate the series. Each slide contains talking points to aid you in your presentation. (You should feel free to make the presentation your own. Just keep in mind to stick to the six key concepts.)
- Session 1 – Operate
- Session 2 – Navigate
- Session 3 – Communicate
- SSWRB Program Materials (Series Binders, Series Cards, and Roundtable Cards)
The key takeaways for the three-part series are captured on Series cards that will be placed session-by-session in the Series binder. When you order program materials from the SCORE Store, you will receive:
- Series Binders with the initial program materials
- Series Cards – a set for each participant.
- Roundtable Notetaking Cards. – a stack of simple, quarter-page, and easy to use cards that offer a way to capture learning and actions for peer-to-peer Roundtables.
You should plan to hand out the Series Binders at the first session and the corresponding cards at each session of the series. Outlined below.
- Session 1 (Operate)
- The Well-Run Business Six Pack
- Categorizing the Chaos of Business
- Your Critical Numbers
- …You Are in the People Business
- SSWRB Overview Cards
- Operate Cards
- Session 2 (Navigate)
- The Well-Run Business Life Cycle
- 1.2.3. Rule
- SWOT Analysis and Definitions – Optional Tool
- Navigate Cards
- Session 3 (Communicate)
- What’s at the CORE of your marketing?
- Is Your Message Effective?
- Communicate Cards
- Roundtable Notetaking Cards - Give out SSWRB Roundtable Notetaking Cards at the roundtables. Inserts are not necessary.
- Evaluation – Capture your own testimonials for marketing and promotion, learn how to improve the series, and understand what additional services participants are looking for
Preparing for the Peer learning Roundtables:
- Logistics & Facilitator’s Guide – This takes you through all the details to run successful Roundtables. This guide provides sample ground rules (aka “Roundtable Guidelines”) and a list of potential topics to discuss. Keep in mind, however, that your participants should really drive the conversation with their needs.
Offering the peer learning Roundtables:
- Roundtable Notetaking Cards – Simple, half-page, and easy to use as a way to capture learning and actions.
- Evaluation – Capture your own testimonials for marketing and promotion, learn how to improve the Roundtables, and understand what additional services participants are looking for.
- The SCORE Training Online Learning Modules on Powerful Listening and Questioning and Facilitation – For SCORE volunteers, go to SCORE Training and take the courses, 101 Powerful Listening and Questioning and 102 Facilitation Skills. The Facilitation module is required for speakers/presenters and facilitators of the program.
- Chapter Contacts – This resource contains a list of people to contact who have experience with the program.
- SCORE Northern Nevada
- Jim Carr
- Irene DeHuff
- Judy Haar
- Linda Nazemian
- SCORE Northern Nevada