'Entrepreneurial Pathways' aims to lead businesses toward success

November 13, 2011
  • Poor

Q: The week of Nov. 14 has been designated as Global Entrepreneurship Week. Is the SCORE chapter planning any local celebratory events?

A: As a partner in the Entrepreneurial Alliance and Resource Network, or EARN, the SCORE chapter will be participating in the daylong event "Entrepreneurial Pathways: Been There, Done That," Wednesday, Nov. 16, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hagerstown Community College.

We invited Chris Marschner, director of the Technical Innovation Center and coordinator of the event, to provide our readers with details, which follow.

At the event, attendees will get advice and tips from successful local business people on issues and challenges facing small business, and how they overcame obstacles to their growth and success.

Whether you are thinking of starting a business or are a seasoned veteran of the business world, there will be something there for you.

The key to business success is gaining an understanding of the problems that many are seeking to avoid and then finding ways to efficiently solve those problems. When people are told this, they usually respond with "this is easier said than done" or "we should all be self-employed, running our own businesses."

In fact, everyone who works for compensation is running a small enterprise. Even when we work for someone else as an employee, we are selling our labor resources to them because they need our specialized expertise.

What business strategy did GE, Hyatt, Microsoft, Trader Joe's, MTV, FedEx and Burger King share when they were founded? Each of the firms found opportunities to start and grow during economic recessions, and in the case of GE, Thomas Edison started his firm in the middle of a six-year-long panic that began in 1873.

What does this mean to you? It means that recessions and economic downturns are excellent times to create a growth-oriented firm. Why?

While it seems counterintuitive that a growth business could do well in a downturn, in the United States alone, the $14.7 trillion economy means that someone is spending money, money that could be yours if you found a way to solve a problem or make life easier for someone else.

At the Entrepreneurial Pathways event, attendees will hear individual presentations, as well as panel discussions, and there will be question-and-answer sessions.

The event is designated PRD-449-E at HCC. To register, call 240-500-2236.

Robert A. "Bob" Poor is a local small-business owner/operator. He is a small-business counselor and a regular contributor to the Ask SCORE column. Questions may be emailed to him at or sent by mail in care of The Herald-Mail, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, MD 21741, ATTN: Ask SCORE column.

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