This morning, OPEN from American Express® announced a national partnership with SCORE® "Counselors to America's Small Business" to create the "Small Business Speed Coaching Test Drive," a multi-city seminar tour designed to support small-business growth, and trigger success through complimentary educational and mentorship programs.
The "Small Business Speed Coaching Test Drive" series offers small-business owners exclusive, 30-minute, one-on-one evaluation sessions with experienced business coaches from SCORE, and interactive workshops focused on areas that directly affect small-business growth -- including strategic business planning, effective marketing and business finances.
Growth is an important issue facing small businesses today, with more than one-third [37%] of small-business owners reporting growth of their business as their company's single most important priority over the next six months, according to the OPEN from American Express Small Business Monitor, a semi-annual survey of business owners conducted in Fall 2007. In addition, 70% of business owners believe their marketing investments are effective in promoting growth, but less than half report seeing a direct uptick in sales from their marketing efforts.
"For small-business owners, growth requires innovative thinking and a customized approach," said Marcy Shinder, vice president of OPEN from American Express. "OPEN is proud to partner with SCORE to provide small-business owners across the country with individual counsel from seasoned experts with the ultimate goal of helping to identify new avenues of strategic growth."
"SCORE is bringing speed coaching to cities across America," says Ken Yancey, SCORE CEO. "Entrepreneurs can test drive our free services and discuss their greatest challenges with a seasoned business counselor.
"We are pleased to have the support of OPEN from American Express to host this national speed coaching tour, starting in Orlando -- one of our nation's most vibrant communities."
More than 250 small-business owners are expected to attend the seminar kick-off in Orlando, Fla., on Thursday, Nov. 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Walt Disney World® Swan Hotel. Complimentary parking will be provided. In 2008, additional seminars will take place in Phoenix, Ariz.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Chicago, Ill.
Featured topics and speakers of the series include:
* "Building a Business Plan for Growth" by Skip Honigstein, SCORE assistant district director. Honigstein held high-ranking leadership positions in the health-care services industry during his 28-year career, which focused on strategic and financial planning, operations, budgets and turnarounds.
* "Marketing Your Business" by Jerry Ross, Disney National Entrepreneur Center executive director. Ross is an entrepreneur and business executive, whose two decades of experience include leadership positions with major corporations and ownership of several successful companies in Central Florida.
* "Success Stories," a Q&A-style workshop with established business owners.
* "Following the Money" by Jennifer Wybraniec, OPEN from American Express
* Luncheon keynote speaker: Jacob Stuart, Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce president. During his 20 years as president, Stuart has guided the chamber to a prestigious five-star accreditation from the Accrediting Board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He has worked to provide lifelong learning opportunities for business and community leaders in Orlando.
In addition to meeting with a SCORE counselor at the event, attendees will learn about local SCORE chapter resources and can continue counseling sessions in the future.
More information about the workshop is online at www.score.org/OPEN_events.html.
Registration is free and available on a first-come, first-serve basis at www.bmmreg.com/amex. A maximum of two people per company may attend the event. Limit one coaching session per business. All attendees are eligible to participate in the coaching, workshops and luncheon.
Since 1964, SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" has helped more than 7.7 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small-business owners through counseling and business workshops. More than 10,500 volunteer business counselors in 389 chapters serve their communities through entrepreneur education dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses.
For more information about starting or operating a small business, call 1-800-634-0245 for the SCORE chapter nearest you. Visit SCORE on the Web at http://www.score.org/.
About OPEN from American Express
OPEN from American Express, one of GoodBiz113's premier ad partners, is dedicated exclusively to the success of small-business owners and their companies. OPEN supports business owners with unparalleled service. With tailored products and services, the team delivers purchasing power, flexibility, control and rewards to help customers run their business.
Specifically, business owner customers can leverage an enhanced set of products, tools, services and savings -- including charge and credit cards, convenient access to working capital, robust online account management capabilities, and savings on business services from an expanded lineup of partners.
For more information about OPEN[SM], visit OPEN.com; or, call 1-800-NOW-OPEN to apply for a card or loan. Terms and conditions apply.
Source: OPEN from American Express
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