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SCORE clients - Real Entrepreneurs. Real Success.
How SCORE Mentoring Works
SCORE mentoring is a free service offered to any aspiring or established owners of a U.S.-based business.

Partnering with you one-on-one, SCORE mentors support your success by providing experienced advice, consulting on best practices, and educating you on small business topics.

Request a Business Mentor

Enter your zip code to request a mentor from your local SCORE chapter. Complete the mentoring request form with as much information as possible. We'll use this information to pair you with an expert who can answer your business questions.

Frequently Asked Questions
SCORE mentoring is a free service offered to U.S. based business (or business idea).

Partnering with you one-on-one or in small group sessions, SCORE mentors support your success by providing experienced advice, consulting on best practices, and educating you on small business topics.
When you enter your zip code in the field above, you’ll be taken to our mentoring request form. We’ll use the information that you provide in that form to find your ideal expert. More specifically, we’ll work to understand your business question(s) and compare that to the mentor profiles in our database to find an expert that matches your needs.

If you have a more general question, we’ll pair you with a local expert who can work with you to identify your area of greatest need and will coach you on that topic. If necessary, your mentor will invite other SCORE subject matter experts to help if you have questions on several different topics.
The time to get matched varies based on your business question, but typically you should hear from a mentor within 48 hours. Once you hear from your mentor, you can work with them to schedule your first mentoring appointment at a time that is convenient for both of your schedules.
Yes! Your mentor will attempt to contact you 3 times upon receiving your mentoring request. They will email you and text you (if you select text notifications), so make sure you check your junk folders and whitelist emails sent from @scorevolunteer.org and @score.org.
Client confidentiality is an institutional principle at SCORE. This means that a SCORE client’s confidentiality does not reside with a single volunteer or chapter but is maintained as confidential within SCORE.

SCORE volunteers cannot sign any client’s confidentiality agreements or any Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA), but the client’s confidentiality is covered in the volunteer’s agreement with SCORE.

This agreement to maintain client confidentiality - as well as other values that are integral to the client relationship - is confirmed in writing in the SCORE Code of Ethics. Among other things, our Code of Ethics directs our volunteers as follows:
  • Always place the business interests of SCORE clients first.
  • Protect the confidentiality of all client information so that it remains within SCORE.
All SCORE mentors are required to sign this agreement annually.
SCORE mentors can help businesses in all industries. We have experts in a variety of fields, including professional services, retail, arts, entertainment, recreation, food services, accommodations, travel, marketing & advertising, health care, social assistance, real estate and more.

Regardless of your industry, our mentors are knowledgeable in all areas of business and can answer your questions about popular topics such as sales, marketing, finance, accounting, management, and technology.
A mentoring session is a confidential, personalized conversation with a business expert to answer a question or to solve a problem that you’re facing.

SCORE mentoring sessions are collaborative meetings between the small business owner and the SCORE mentor. They are typically scheduled for an hour and can be held virtually, through online meetings, phone calls, email, or even in person if you would like to be paired with a local mentor. You can share your business goals, progress, challenges, and questions during these sessions. SCORE mentors will offer advice, resources, and insights so you gain clarity on your next best steps.

When you first meet with your mentor, they will ask you questions about your business and your goals. This will help them understand how to best support you and answer your business questions. They will leverage their personal experience and knowledge to help you avoid common challenges and mistakes. If they do not have the expertise you need, they may invite another mentor to participate in the meeting.

Once you discuss your initial business question, they may ask you to complete business templates or to review resources on SCORE.org. Additionally, they may recommend SCORE or partner workshops or resources to meet your needs. They will also schedule a follow-up session to ensure you’re on the right track and to keep supporting your business.
To make the most of your mentoring experience, we recommend being prepared with a business question or challenge that you can work on with your mentor. If you’re starting a business, we recommend being prepared with a business idea before you request a mentor. If you’re not sure what type of business you want to start, consider using our Startup Roadmap to help you define your business idea. If you already own a business, come to your meeting prepared with the issue you need to resolve or the goal that you’d like to achieve.

Other tips to make the most of your mentoring include:
  • Checking your inbox for emails from SCORE.
  • Be ready to actively participate in your session. This means bringing specific questions that we can answer, engaging in discussions about your business, and challenging the mentor's ideas & suggestions if you don't fully understand them.
  • If your business is already in operation, please be willing to share your history, recent financials, cash flow, and business plan. This will give your mentor a much-needed understanding of your current operations so they can suggest ideas about how/where to improve.
  • Be open and honest in the discussion.
  • Be willing to meet with your mentor over a period of time. Many of the questions that we receive will take more than one meeting to answer. Remember, mentoring is always free and you can meet with your mentor as often as needed (based on schedule and availability).
  • Keep in mind that SCORE mentors will not do the work for you. We are here as guides and advisors but we’ll ask you to do the work. This is to help you develop the skills and knowledge needed to manage your business.
  • When you’ve achieved success with your mentor, submit a success story for our website. This will allow us to celebrate your accomplishments and spread the word about your business. Your story could be featured in SCORE’s national media releases and marketing efforts, which will build awareness for your business.
  • Consider attending a SCORE workshop to complement your mentoring. We offer educational webinars, workshops and events online and in your local community. This will help you strengthen your knowledge and expand your business network.
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712 H St NE PMB 98848
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1-800-634-0245

Copyright © 2024 SCORE Association, SCORE.org

Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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