Studies show that small business owners who receive three or more hours of mentoring report higher revenues and increased growth. Is that what’s happening in your small business?
If not, maybe it’s time to get some advice from people who have “been there and done that.”
SCORE offers the largest network of volunteer business mentors providing free answers to your business questions. They are known as America’s Small Business Mentors and are at your disposal – either online or through their chapter sites across the country. Most SCORE mentors have owned and operated their own companies or served in management positions themselves. They are available to you for as little as one question or for long term counseling on a complicated issue.
SCORE is a nonprofit association supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Their volunteers consist of people who are dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and bring their dreams to reality. This SBA resource partner’s 11,000+ volunteers nationwide donated more than 2.2 million hours of free mentoring and education in 2015. The SBA funding keeps those services free, or in the case of workshops, at very low costs.
My schedule this year allowed me to speak to the attendees of the national SCORE Leadership Conference in St. Louis. Let me tell you, I have seldom seen such a group of positive go-getters willing to learn how to serve small businesses better! Plus, they are driven to find volunteers who will mentor businesses like yours.
SCORE counselors don’t take offense if you don’t “connect” with the first SCORE counselor with whom you make an appointment. They understand a mentoring relationship is built on connection and trust.
On SCORE’s website, at https://www.score.org/, prospective and current small business owners can find a mentor – online at any time night or day, in person by online video or at a SCORE chapter near you. The website lists SCORE chapters and their contact information; shows the location of workshops taking place in your area and tells you how to register to attend them. In addition, the site offers online webinars on relevant topics like their current Technology webinars. SCORE also has an extensive online library on that website, where there are numerous blogs, templates for business planning and guides to help with a myriad of topics.
If you are a small business owner who could benefit from mentorship, check out a SCORE counselor near you.