Starting a new business is risky, but guidance from an experienced mentor can help. Entrepreneurs who work with a mentor are five times more likely to start a business – and report higher revenues and increased business growth. SCORE – mentors to America’s small businesses and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration – encourages entrepreneurs to find a mentor who can support them on their business journey.
“Mentors can have an enormous impact on an entrepreneur’s success,” according to Tracy Shaw, Chair of SCORE’s Board of Directors. “As SCORE approaches its 60th anniversary this year, I’m proud that our volunteers’ commitment to helping small businesses grow and thrive is as strong as ever.” SCORE’s 10,000 volunteers provide free, confidential, expert small business advice and training in all 50 U.S. states and territories.
Start a business and stay in business
A mentor can provide support for any small business owner, whether they’re just starting out or they’ve been in business for years. Mentoring sessions can be in-person, virtual or via email with an expert in the local community or across the country. By working with a mentor, entrepreneurs are three times more likely to stay in business.
Vera Bradley co-founders Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia Miller worked with SCORE mentor George Cook in the early days of their business. “George never told us what to do or how to do it,” explained Miller. “He would ask questions that helped us find the solutions for ourselves. We were very lucky to connect with somebody whose business expertise complemented our creativity.”
Todd Graves, founder of the Raising Cane’s restaurant chain, sought financial and marketing advice from SCORE when he started. “They’re committed to helping you be successful because they understand the value a small business brings to a community,” said Graves about SCORE mentors. “They also help you understand what it takes to be a successful business owner. If you’re willing to commit yourself to starting a business, SCORE will provide all the encouragement and assistance you need.”
Mentoring helps everyone
It’s not just clients who benefit from mentorship. As a mentor, Kristin Sharpe says, “I mentor because I enjoy the challenge of helping people find their path to success.”
As the new year begins, it’s the perfect time to kickstart an entrepreneurial journey by working with a SCORE mentor. Interested in learning more? Reach out today at score.org/find-mentor.
Maybe you already have years of business experience and would like to share your knowledge with others. Consider becoming a SCORE mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs, providing them with invaluable guidance and expertise to navigate challenges and achieve their business goals. Learn more about becoming a mentor at score.org/volunteer.
Since its founding in 1964 as a resource partner for the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE has helped more than 11 million current and aspiring entrepreneurs start, grow or successfully exit a business through mentoring, resources and education. Visit SCORE at www.score.org.
Looking to stay motivated as you start your business? Check our article on “Ah-ha” Moments: The Inspiration Behind Starting a Business.