7 Big Lessons From Today's Small Business Successes
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Some of the best lessons that small business owners can learn come from those who have been in their shoes and have been successful. SCORE, the Small Business Administration's partner organization designed to mentor entrepreneurs, recently celebrated a handful of successful small business owners at its fourth annual SCORE Awards at a gala in New Orleans.
Over the past week, TheStreet profiled all seven of SCORE's 2012 winners. Each of the winners' stories had valuable lessons to share with aspiring and established small business owners. Here is a roundup of the biggest lessons from each winner:
1. Tap into your existing network and available resources.Tasha Oldham, founder of My Story Inc. and winner of SCORE's Outstanding Woman-Owned Small Business award, is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, but Oldham had to separate her keen artistic eye from running a profitable business.
When she first launched her commercial production company in 2010, she was also aware of how important it was to leverage her existing network of friends, professional acquaintances and the entrepreneur community at large.
"I ... leveraged my community of other entrepreneurs to barter for services I needed to start the company," Oldham says. "Key services like legal structuring, business coaching, and a superfly, fabulous venue for my launch party as well as catering, the list goes on. The exposure and new clients from the launch party has funded our growth and expansion."
She also was sure to seek out other female entrepreneurs, which led to an introduction and eventually winning a place in Deluxe Corp.'s Project Rev, which led her to the SCORE mentors, which in turn led her to the assistance of Goldman Sachs' (GS) 10,000 Small Business program.
2. Speaking of resources, your local Chamber of Commerce is not just for big business anymore. Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce executive vice president Beth Johnston says the organization is doing all it can to support the claim that Boca Raton, Fla. is the new "Silicon Beach," a nickname given to the community because of its strong tech startup presence.