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How to SCORE big as an entrepreneur

Challenges for new businesses subject of panel discussion

TRYON — Managing resources, finding financing and the biggest challenges of entrepreneurship were some of the topics at the Entrepreneurial Women’s  Roundtable Thursday.

The event was sponsored by SCORE and took place at the Lanier Library. Panel members included local business owners Amy Johnson, owner/operator of Kniticality Yarn Boutique and Classes; branding and digital marketing consultant Terri Morrin; and Tawana Weicker, owner/operator of Warhorse Soaps and Cleaning Solutions.

“Self care is very important,” said Morrin. “I learned that others would accommodate my schedule.”

Weicker said one of her biggest challenges was finding manufacturing resources that she could trust.

“We found a family-owned manufacturer that had been in business for decades,” she said. “That was the kind of people I wanted to work with.”

The panel offered information and encouragement for those with new businesses and those contemplating starting up a business. Panel members encouraged new business owners to reach out to SCORE for help.

“Talk to SCORE about financing options,” Morrin said. 

“The SCORE mentors really helped me get started,” said Weicker, former a school teacher.

Weicker said it took a lot of courage to leave a steady job with a good pension and start her own business. She said SCORE helped her realize she could make it happen.

The audience asked questions about time and employee management, and what the panelists looked for when they hired.

Johnson said she always looked for customer service skills.

“My business is about self-esteem,” she said. “I need someone who has good customer service skills. I can teach them the rest.”

SCORE mentor Carol Browning moderated the discussion, and asked each panelist a series of questions. Though she was originally scheduled to be part of the panel, riding instructor/trainer Carice Berndsen was unable to attend.

SCORE is a nonprofit resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Mentors of the Western North Carolina SCORE Chapter volunteer their personal time and expertise to help entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations to start, run and thrive, representatives said.

Polk County and Landrum are part of the organization’s Western North Carolina regional chapter. For more information about SCORE in Polk County, contact 828-553-0201 or visit www.carolinafoothillschamber.com/business/score.