Start-up businesses, as well as ongoing firms, require management talent in order to be successful over the long term. While training and education are important beforehand as preparation, what is less well understood is the need for continuous skill building which is a permanent fixture in effective management.

And there are lots of ways to get training that is relevant to managerial theory and practice. For example, SCORE Hagerstown offers two low-cost courses, ‘How to Really Start Your Own Business’ (April 2013), and ‘Managing Growth in Your Business’ (May 2013). SCORE also has developed a radio program, ‘SCORE Talks Small Business’, (WJEJ Radio, 1240 AM, at 10:30 AM on the first Tuesday of each month, starting March 5, 2013), hosted by Lou Scally. Additionally, there is a new event called ‘Coffee Break with SCORE’, hosted by SCORE Hagerstown, offering free counseling and other services to local individuals and businesses. This is an ideal venue for networking among local business people. SCORE also offers webinars available free on its website, SCORE also offers a very popular program, ‘Business Roundtable’, on a bimonthly basis in which events of interest to business managers are discussed. Recent topics were Social Media in Business, Home-Based Business Success, and Government Contracting.

Additional training opportunities exist through what are called MOOCs, which are ‘Massively Open Online Courses’ wherein major universities throughout the country offer courses for free. These can be checked by a web search on names such as Udacity, iTunesU, Coursera, and Kahn Academy, among others. One such venue is which offers specially developed courses similar to certificate programs, where a single topic is explored in depth, such as Operations Management or Effective Online Sales Development. Locally, Frostburg State University, through its location in Hagerstown, offers a number of business related courses, as well as degree programs. One particular program is of great interest to the business community, namely, the concentration on Small Business Entrepreneurship. Frostburg will also offer a certificate program in Small Business Entrepreneurship. The program is directed by Dr. Martha Mattare, who is also Co-Chair of SCORE Hagerstown. Dr. Mattare was recently the chairperson of the yearly conference of USASBE (United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship).

There are also collaborative opportunities available locally in which interested parties can network to discuss and work on new ideas and innovation. These include Hagerstown based ‘Home Based Business Entrepreneurs’, among others. SCORE offers a Speaker’s Bureau where local organizations can locate a speaker to address their meetings and share business ideas and experiences. The Hagerstown Chamber of Commerce offers a variety of networking events, as well as short courses, including Learning Lunches and an early morning program called ‘Eggs and Issues’. Local communities offer business networking events on a regular basis, including Boonsboro, Smithsburg and Hancock. The value of these events is the sharing of ideas through networking, which is a powerful stimulant to creativity and innovation.

Incidentally, this need for networking and collaboration was recently in the news when Yahoo’s president recalled all employees who had been working from home to return to the office and from then on be based at the office. The reason cited for this change was the need for continued stimulation to enable enhanced creativity through networking and collaboration among all employees.

Hagerstown SCORE can be reached at 301-766-2043 and “”.

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