SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. We have been doing this for over fifty years.
According to an article by Charlie Bumb in the Traverse City Record Eagle, SCORE offers the following mentoring benefits to small businesses:
1. Trusted advisor — your mentor brings an unbiased perspective to your business and can be counted on to supply objective feedback.
2. Business experience — ideally, your mentor has experience in the type of business you want to start and can help you avoid beginners’ mistakes.
3. Specialized knowledge — you may not yet be an expert in writing a business plan or managing daily operations, but your mentor can help to fill in any knowledge gaps.
4. Free guidance — a mentor works with you free of charge, simply for the satisfaction of helping other entrepreneurs to succeed.
5. Sounding board — you can bounce ideas off your mentor and be sure you’ll receive a candid and unfiltered opinion.
6. Disciplined approach — when it comes to self-discipline and self-motivation, your mentor can help to create boundaries, set expectations and identify priorities.
7. Encouragement — one of the best descriptions of a mentor comes from Oprah Winfrey: “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” When you lose momentum or your business goals seem impossibly far away, your mentor is there to offer guidance and encouragement.
The Sage global information firm (www.sage.com) reports that 93 percent of small- and medium-sized business owners know that mentoring can help them to succeed, yet only 26 percent of U.S. firms make use of business mentors.
So if you aren’t in an incubator or accelerator or some other entrepreneurial program that provides access to mentors, check out SCORE, and find a mentor there.