Expert advice: SCORE Cleveland now offers business advice with the click of a button

SCORE Cleveland, a volunteer group of seasoned, successful businesspeople who work to help entrepreneurs successful in their endeavors, now offers services seven days a week, 24 hours a day through its website.

“You just go to the SCORE website, either the national site or the local site, and click on the “Chat” box  [in the bottom right corner],” says SCORE Cleveland co-chair Bob Cohen. “We can offer a decision about whether to buy or sell, or we can refer the user to materials for help. People might ask ‘how do I get my Minority Owned Business Enterprise certification or Women Owned Business Enterprise certification?’  We can help with this.”

Cohen explains that the help button is staffed by SCORE volunteers in both Cleveland and on a national level. Either way, he says a volunteer will help guide an entrepreneur to the right resources.

“Sometimes it might be simple question like, ‘how do I find funding, or [create] a business plan,’” he says, “or how do I start a business? We can refer them to a recommended workshop.” He adds that other common questions are around finding accounting services or improving digital marketing.

The new help button feature is part of SCORE’s new website that connects local branches across the country.  “We just upgraded and changed our website from a national level,” Cohen says. “SCORE Cleveland is very specific to the Cleveland area and the seven counties that we serve.”

The Help button is currently staffed with live certified SCORE mentors from around the country on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. but will be expanding live agent coverage in the coming weeks.

Other hours, the “SCOREbot” can answer questions or create a help ticket that will be responded to by email from a certified mentor within 24 hours. “If someone calls at a time when it’s not staffed, our AI can make recommendations,” emphasizes Cohen, who also says entrepreneurs are also welcome to call the SCORE Cleveland offices at (216) 503-8160 for help with questions.

SCORE Cleveland was recognized as the 2022 Chapter of the Year for its mentoring and educational support to small businesses, including tripling their total services over the past two years.