|Northern Illinois SCORE serves Rockford and the Stateline Area with Expert Small Business Mentoring and Informative, Educational Small Business Workshops!|
SCOREboard Business Review
The SCOREboard is a group of 4 Northern Illinois SCORE counselors whose purpose is to review your finished business plan before seeking funding.
|Review Your Finished Business Plan||Accelerate Your Start-Up or Expansion Success|
A SCOREboard review may be conducted on a new business start-up, or on an existing business plan expansion. Northern Illinois SCORE encourages all existing businesses to conduct annual reviews of their business, and to request assistance when desired, especially when the plan incorporates major changes or additions.
The finished draft of a business plan must be submitted to the SCORE Chairperson no later than 1 week before the scheduled review.
To register, complete the form below. Provide 3 preferred dates and times you would be available. SCORE will confirm one of those times.
Qustions and Answers RE Business Plans and the Review Process
Q: When are SCOREboard reviews conducted?
A: Monthly on the afternoon of the 1st Tuesday. Or by special appointment. Email the SCORE Chairperson with 3 tentative times and dates. The Chairperson will schedule you based on the availability of the review board. All reviews must scheduled by contacting the SCORE Chairperson via email or telephone.
Q: How long will the review take?
A: Presenters will have 1 hour to present a comprehensive business plan.
Q: What must I do to be considered for a SCOREboard review?
A: Presenters must have gone through the business start-up thought process and research. That work must have been summarized in a final draft of a professionally written business plan. The SCOREboard can not review "ideas" or business plans that are hand-written drafts, or lacking financial information.
Q: What business plan format should I follow?
A: Your business plan has no set format. It is unique to your business. However most business plans include common elements. Check the comprehensive business resources page on this site for reference. Or, ask your SCORE counselor to provide you with the "SONY Guide for Starting a New Business". Additionally, there are many good online references as well as books at your local library.
Q: How should I best get my business plan to SCORE?
A: The best approach is to create a ZIP file of your plan including all attachments and supporting data. Or generate a PDF file of the complete plan. Then email the ZIP or PDF file to the SCORE Chairperson as an attachment. Your file may be quite large, so use a free service like www.sendthisfile.com to ensure it will be delivered. Alternatively, you may print the business plan in color and send it by US Mail to the SCORE business address.
Q: What shall I use to write my business plan?
A: You will need Microsoft Office or Open Office. Open office is free at http://www.openoffice.org.
Q: I'm not sure if the bank will approve the funding I need based on my business
plan. Can I still have a review?
A: Absolutely schedule a review. If you have shown "due diligence" in including the financial statements, executive summary, and supporting narrative with backup data, then you are ready for a review. The purpose of the SCOREboard review is to help you strengthen the plan when possible, to show you areas of improvement, and to put you in a position where you will more readily be accepted for funding by a bank or lender.
Q: My plan looks OK, but there is one financial projection I just don't know
how to do. Can I still have a review?
A: The best approach is to meet face-to-face with a SCORE counselor to go over the problem area. You can also solicit help from your accountant or banker. Then finalize the draft to the best of your ability and proceed with scheduling the review. Recognize that SCORE counselors can provide helpful advice, but can not do the financial details for you. Neither are they trained accountants or Certified Public Accountants.
Q: What are the backgrounds of the SCORE Counselors on the SCOREboard review team.
A: See the panel at left.
Q: What steps, from start to finish, do I need to take to write my business plan.
A: Enroll in the 5 workshop series "Simple Steps To Starting Your Business". Or self study the business planning process on your own.