Welcome to SCORE Business TV. In this series, experts share their opinions with business owners on a variety of topics. Today, we are featuring a SCORE client success story and her relationship with her SCORE mentors.
SCORE is a 55-year-old nationwide non-profit organization providing free mentoring services to business owners. Our SCORE experts are here to guide you safely through that minefield.
Small Business Support Team
Our first SCORE mentor is Stroud Curran, a mentor with our Tampa Chapter. Stroud is a retired CPA with his MBA from Dartmouth, Amos Tuck School of Business. Stroud has been a CFO of several small companies and he was VP of finance for a Fortune 500 company division. He was also a principal in a consulting firm that served long-term care providers including nursing, assisted living, and continuing care communities.
Next is Sarasota SCORE mentor Lloyd Nurick. Lloyd has a BA from Union College and an MA in liberal studies from Wesleyan University. As a certified association executive, Lloyd has had over 50 years of experience in government, healthcare, and trade associations.
Our SCORE client is Alexis Nguyen, owner of three Assisting Hands Home Care franchise units. We will find out more about Alexis during the show.
How Can SCORE Mentors Help Small Businesses?
In this video, host Dennis Zink and his expert guests discuss the following topics:
How SCORE Mentors got involved with the client
What it's like to work with two SCORE Mentors
How often and where the client meets with her Mentors
How SCORE Mentors helped the client grow her business
The value received from the Mentors
The client benefited from watching SCORE Business TV and listening to SCORE podcasts
Best advice given by the mentors
Helping establish business goals
Discerning the most important metric / key performance indicator (KPI)
Focus on Profit margins
Client challenges, strategies and opportunities
Visionary advice from the SCORE Mentor
How to Depend on your SCORE Mentors?
“As a business owner, I focus on strategy, moving away from the details, day to day operations. And that's where Stroud and Lloyd, my SCORE mentors, comes in. They help me focus on the strategy part, the initiative and the priorities to move and propel the business forward because we're growing at a very rapid rate for a small business. And I want to make sure that whatever and where we are, we have to have the ability to catch up. So once you grow, your contracts or awarded contracts and then you have to make sure all your operations and all your folks follow suit. So where Lloyd and Stroud bring value is making sure that I focus on the strategy part and the initiative part. We're projecting this year close to $4.4 million. And every year since Stroud and Lloyd have been involved, we've been able to grow over a million dollars each year. And I see the trend continuing,” said Alexis Nguyen.
“As you have shared with the audience about my mentors' backgrounds, each of them has a very unique background, based on their expertise level. I found great value in having their different perspectives based on the topics because as a business owner and running a business, there's a lot of different perspectives or different pillars in the business that you run. Stroud has a very strong background in finance as well as long-term care. And Lloyd has a background with associations, profit sharing, and incentives. So I see a great value because they both bring something very unique to the table. Being an entrepreneur you tend to have a lot of ideas. And they're great to work with. I wouldn't trade them for the world. They're classy men. They have my best interests in mind, sound advice based on their experience and background. And I think we've become really like friends. We're able to talk about sometimes funny things, jokes, telling stories. So it's not always about business all the time,” Nguyen added.
What Matters to the SCORE Client?
“Well, as far as Alexis goes, it's increasing her profitability, increasing her territory, making sure that she and her franchisor are on the same wavelength because I think that at times she may be growing faster than the franchisor. And as a mentor, that's great. I'm not sure that that's the right way to go, but for Alexis and me, that's great. Initially it was very formal, across the table type of relationship, and we've grown close. Alexis is one of a number of clients that I have, but she's the only one that gives me a hug on the way out. So it's become a special relationship. And Alexis, as you can tell from what she's already said, she is particularly bright, and communicative, and she absorbs suggestions that we make, whether she follows them is up to her, but she understands very quickly. So she's a pleasure to work with. You don't have to pound her head with information on details. She can pick up broad ideas and expand on those things. But as Stroud also said, our job is initially to listen, to hear what she has to say, what she has to ask, and then respond because we have to understand her, our client, much better than even a consultant who does the work. We don't do the work. We make suggestions,” said Lloyd Nurick.
“I've always viewed this as, I'm an advisor, nothing more. And from the very beginning felt that Alexis knows her business much better than I. So my role was to give advice, to listen, to listen a lot, to suggest a different emphasis from time to time, to not be overly excited if she followed it to the letter or not, to deal with the problem of the month. And the problems have been really all over the map from a dispute with her franchisor. That was I think the first big issue that we were to trying to help her evaluate the worth of her business, to employee issues, to financial issues,” said Stroud Curran.
Dennis Zink, SCORE Manasota Chapter Chair
Alexis Nguyen, SCORE Client and owner of three Assisting Hands Home Care franchise units
Lloyd Nurick, SCORE Manasota Mentor
Stroud Curran, SCORE Tampa Mentor
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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.