REDI Report – October 17, 2015

Economy can’t win if we don’t SCORE

As mentioned many times throughout this column’s existence, it takes everyone playing a part in the economic development process to give us a fighting chance to be successful here in Lebanon and Laclede County. Another great partner in our process, that I want to focus on in this edition of the “REDI Report,” is Lake of the Ozarks SCORE.

SCORE is a volunteer organization of leaders who serve as mentors to anyone wishing to start a business or those who currently have a small business. SCORE chapters exist all over the United States and we are blessed locally and regionally to have a chapter with a presence here. There are actually three mentors from Lebanon and Laclede County who volunteer their time to help local business owners, current or future.

SCORE provides a number of benefits. First of all, the organization provides free assistance. Talk about a great “bang for your buck!”

This is a great opportunity for startup business hopefuls to receive guidance before diving head-first into starting the actual venture. Sometimes a person may realize that starting a business isn’t such a good idea for him or her or their families. And there is nothing wrong with coming to that conclusion.

Other times, a potential business owner may learn ways to make better, more efficient decisions on a front end as opposed to losing valuable time and money on things that may not have been planned out properly.

In addition to the great advice received from local mentors, those utilizing SCORE services can also obtain knowledge from a nationwide network. If a matter arises and a local mentor with Lake of the Ozarks SCORE is not expertly knowledge in that area, the mentor will reach out to the SCORE nationwide network to find someone who is. And again, those services are no cost to the end user!

While working with startups is a big part of SCORE, as previously addressed, mentors will work with existing businesses as well. Small companies can take advantage of “business scans” that give you a “check up” of sorts on your business and really give smaller organizations some oversight that larger entities receive from their boards of directors. I think this is an immensely valuable resource to have as it gives businesses some outside perspective on how things going and maybe even access to new ideas and/or networks to help grow their presence here in our community and county.

For more information on SCORE, visit the website and type in your zip code to connect to a local mentor from the Lake of the Ozarks region.

(Brian Thompson is the President/Chief Executive Officer of Lebanon-REDI. He may be reached at his office at 200 E. Commercial Street at 417-533-5627, by mobile phone at 417-288-9737 or by e-mail at

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