Subject: Re: Intro and question
From: Robin 'Roblimo' Miller <robin@roblimo.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 15:29:23 -0500


>Any of the US people here ever use the small business administration?
>Are they actually useful?  (I've got a vague sense their idea of small
>starts at around 5-10 employees and $500k annual revenue, but I'm
>not at all sure where I got that idea.)
>

I got some excellent advice/help from the SBA-sponsored SCORE (Service 
Corps of Retired Executives) program when I first started my limo 
business.  Quality of SCORE help varies with the individual advisor they 
assign to you. I was lucky - got a guy who came out of the garment biz 
and had several relatives who owned trucking companies so he had a good 
handle on what I needed.

Some of their advisors come from big businesses and aren't all that 
helpful to a small entrepreneur IMO. Don't be afraid to "shop" for an 
advisor who fits *your* needs. And their general "how to start a 
business" workshops are worth attending. Usually one day long.

Back in the 70s I applied for an SBA-backed expansion loan for a small 
manufacturing business I owned a piece of at the time, but the first 
bank I went to for a turndown (you had to get turned down by three banks 
to get SBA help) loaned me the money on the spot without an SBA 
 guarantee, and I sold 6 fiberglass evaporative coolers (our product - 
we had the first practical "no-rust" swamp cooler - this was in Tucson 
where they're a big thing) to bank staffers while I was filling out the 
paperwork.  But I'll say... I got the bank loan because I followed SBA 
advice on how to get one. Had all my paperwork in order, etc.

- Robin