The SCORE chapter 686, located in Holland, Michigan has been a chapter since 2005. Previously, it was a branch of the SCORE chapter in Kalamazoo, MI, approximately 40 miles to the southeast of Holland. Holland, Michigan is located on the shore of Lake Michigan, where the Black River empties into Lake Michigan, at the southern edge of Ottawa county. The name Holland is derived from the old name of The Netherlands, from which the early Dutch settlers arrived in 1847. Initially, farming was the main activity, but manufacturing gradually grew, particularly when heavy industrial machinery became more readily available, after the end of the 1800's. The furniture industry became prominent in Holland as it did in nearby Grand Rapids, the largest metropolitan area, about 20 miles inland from Holland. Agriculture is still an important industry in the Holland area, with many large grain growing areas, fruit orchards, and flower farms.
SCORE's philosophy for the past 50 years has been to help anyone who either wants to establish a new business or improve an existing business, by advising clients on the need for, and the requirements of a business plan. The main technical elements of a business plan are marketing, operations, including legal entity and financial requirements. The orderly planning and detailed implementation of steps taken to address these areas have been found to determine the success or failure of many new and established businesses. The more effectively a client can think through, document and implement plans for a new business idea have been proven to result in a successful outcome.
SCORE clients can receive mentoring through face-to-face, phone or e-mail depending on logistics, timing or the preferred manner by which they wish to receive counseling. They also have a choice of mentor expertise, which range from accounting, banking, engineering, finance, marketing, real estate, retail and senior management. Collectively, several hundred years of business wisdom is available to help a client avoid some of the more common mistakes made in starting and running a business.
We counsel clients at two regular venues in Holland:
- The Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce, (616) 392-2389, or online at www.westcoastchamber.org, search SCORE, click on Business Development, then click on SCORE appointment.
- Herrick District Library, (616) 355-3720, or online at www.herrickdistrictlibrary.org/services/programs/events, click on "attend", then click on "SCORE appointment" to make an appointment with SCORE mentors.
- If the above sites are either unavailable or inconvenient, please contact SCORE Holland at (616) 335-2706 and we will find a time, date & location that is convenient for you. We have met clients in many other locations all across Ottawa and northern Allegan counties, including chambers of commerce, libraries, restaurants and businesses. Our goal is to establish and expand long-term relationships with clients in order to help them start and grow successful businesses.
Holland Score Local Chapter #686 Volunteer Mentors
|Cowie, Don||Business financial management|
|DeGraves, Jenny||Legal/real estate|
|Dietrich, Pat||Continuity of operations, strategic planning, business operations|
|Contracts, bids, costs|
|Koster, Ken||Manufacturing, market management|
|Heil, Kevin||IT support, custom software development, environmental engineering|
|Marks, Jim||New product development, manufacturing operations, supply chain management|
|Abel, Julie||Website design & development|