SCORE

How important is mentoring for the life of your small business? So much that we recognize the work of dedicated mentors each January.

National Mentoring Month was first celebrated in 2002. Here at SCORE, the power of mentoring relationships is easy to see every day. More than 10,000 professionals with a passion for small business serve as volunteer mentors. Some of our dedicated mentors from the St. Louis chapter are pictured on the left.

Since 1964, we’ve offered small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet with mentors in person, by phone, via email, and most recently, through video chat.

PricewaterhouseCoopers helped us survey SCORE clients in 2015, and we learned that 94% of clients who sought SCORE mentoring after opening their business are thriving. Our mentors helped our clients create 53,000+ new businesses and 65,000+ new jobs.

Every day, SCORE mentors work to strengthen the business community near you. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small business clients who receive three hours or more of mentoring report higher revenues and increased business growth.

Here are just a few examples of our dedicated mentors:

In New Hampshire, mentors Bob Stanley and Gene Calvano worked with Concord Pilates owner Mara Sievers. Although Stanley and Calvano lacked experience in Sievers’ specific industry, they were able to help strategize around client retention and acquisition. In December 2016, Sievers reported 20 percent growth compared to her previous year in business.

In Florida, Jeff and Kim Janssen offer “tag-team” style mentorship, focusing on management advice for their small business clients. They helped father-and-son team John and Brett Siegel develop a business plan and cash-flow analysis before they built a trailer to take their food-truck idea to the masses.

In Washington. D.C., mentor Hal Shelton published his first book at 73. The topic? How to write your business plan, a task he’s helped about 1,000 aspiring entrepreneurs develop since retiring from his career in finance.

In Texas, Chuck Rudnick helped client Eric Melton elevate his 25-year-old landscaping business to the next level. Melton revised his business plan, and the changes he implemented allowed him to bring in more landscaping clients — and hire more contractors to serve them.

If you work with a mentor, take time this month to say “Thanks!” Send them an email or pick up the phone. Tag them in social media and use the #MentoringMonth hashtag.

If you haven’t met with a SCORE mentor, what are you waiting for? Find a mentor near you (or online) and start working toward your 2017 business goals together.

And if you’d like to become a SCORE mentor, we’d love to have you. Apply to become a mentor, and help make a difference in your community.