Are you interested in starting a business? Starting a business can be a monumental task. For those interested in starting their own business, there is a free resource available right here in Muscatine. A hearty group of volunteers is available for individuals interested in starting and/or answering questions about their current business.


At one time, SCORE meant Service Corps of Retired Executives. Now, simply known as SCORE, the organization has active volunteers and a website packed with information.


The group works out of the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GMCCI) office at 100 West Second Street. Appointments are usually available every Thursday afternoon. When Thursday afternoons don’t work, these volunteers will meet with clients at a time that meets the client’s needs. Jerry Johnson, President of the local chapter, has met with clients at 7:00 am. There is nothing better than discussing business over breakfast.


When asked about the local chapter of SCORE, Jerry responded that, “The SCORE Chapter in Muscatine has been helping small business owners for over twenty-five years. We encourage anyone starting a new business or wanting help with their business to contact us about our free service.”


SCORE volunteers in Muscatine have a broad range of experiences from banking, accounting, insurance, human resources, and marketing. The volunteers will meet with a client for an hour initially. Then, clients are free to return as many times as they wish to explore new and different ideas and to have questions answered. There are several clients currently that are on their third and fourth visit.


SCORE also has a wonderful website, www.score.org, with many features for the new entrepreneur. One of the many features of the website is the business plan. For someone interested in starting their own business, the business plan asks questions regarding all aspects of the potential business. One question that will be asked during each initial visit is whether the client has a business plan. One does not need to have the plan 100% complete, yet it helps in the mentoring process for the client to have worked through many of the considerations of operating a business.


If you are not strong in computers, SCORE has many printed materials. During each visit, the volunteers will hand out promotional materials for SCORE. The materials will review many of the important considerations when starting and/or helping build a business.
I have first-hand knowledge about the SCORE website. I have used the billing forms for my own business. The SCORE site will also make available various workshops and seminars on starting a business.


The volunteers meet on a monthly basis to remain updated on what is new and innovative in the business counseling process. The local chapter will offer workshops in QuickBooks, accounting, sales, and marketing depending on local needs. If a workshop is needed and not offered, just mention it to Jerry and the group, and they will work hard to help with the need.


If you are interested in meeting with the SCORE volunteers to explore ideas about your business, you can call the GMCCI office at (563)-263-8895 to set up an appointment.