Working on your business development strategy is tough. Sometimes you cannot go it alone and you need some help. Where do you turn to find someone that is credible and knowledgeable that understands business? This is exactly what today’s topic is about. Learn how SCORE can help you devise your business development strategy to expand into government contracting. SCORE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping small business get started, grow and meet their goals through education and mentorship. This organization has been helping small businesses for over 50 years.
SCORE is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). They have a network of over 10,000 volunteers and are able to deliver their services at no charge or at very low cost. SCORE can provide the following:
- Volunteer MENTORS who share their expertise across 62 industries
- Free, confidential business MENTORING in person, via email or by video
- Free business tools, templates, and tips are available online
- Inexpensive or free business WORKSHOPS (locally) and webinars (online 24/7)
With over 300 chapters, SCORE is able to hold events and workshops locally across the U.S. and its territories and match up entrepreneurs with local, volunteer mentors.
Where else can you go for business development assistance that has an organization of at least 10,000 volunteers and is free of charge? Can’t get away from the office to attend a workshop then attend SCORE’s webinars that are available online twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
How does your mentoring service work?
SCORE provides free business advice through their network of volunteers. These volunteers are working or retired and are donating their time to help you succeed in business. You can meet with a mentor online or face-to-face in a chapter near you. SCORE’s mentors provide general business advice on every aspect of business planning, start-up, management, and growth. What better way to finalize your business development strategy than have an experienced SCORE volunteer review your plan.
What can I expect from SCORE?
- SCORE will attempt to contact you at least 3 times via email or phone, or both, over the next 2 weeks.
- SCORE mentoring services are provided at no cost to you, regardless of the number of times you visit a SCORE mentor.
- The discussion with your SCORE mentor is strictly confidential. SCORE mentors sign a Code of Ethics and Conduct that addresses the protection of your information and business idea.
- Your mentor will employ the SLATE methodology in your mentoring session, which stands for:
- Stop and Suspend Judgment
- Listen and Learn
- Assess and Analyze
- Test Ideas and Teach with Tools
- Expectation Setting and Encouraging the Dream
SCORE volunteer’ goal is to use their expertise to help you make sound decisions for your business.
- At the conclusion of your session, your mentor should ask “Did I help you today?” If you did not feel that you received valuable advice or assistance, please discuss this with your mentor. Our #1 goal is to provide you with a positive experience and help you with your business needs.
- SCORE will work to assign you to the perfect mentor, based on your need, industry, and location. If your initial mentor is not a good “fit” for you, we will work with you to locate another mentor. They have thousands of mentors across the country and no doubt do have the perfect person just for you. In this case, you may contact your local SCORE office or firstname.lastname@example.org to request a new mentor.
How can I maximize my experience with SCORE?
- Your SCORE volunteer will likely recommend different services to better meet your needs, including a small group workshop or online materials, to accentuate mentoring. Take advantage as they are supplemental to the advice you are receiving.
- SCORE does not provide grants, business loans, CPA services, or legal services, but your mentor may be able to suggest outside resources to assist you in those areas. Keep an open mind about what you think you may need initially, and work with your mentor to try to find a solution.
- Your business is not built in a day. Similarly, you benefit most from SCORE by meeting with a mentor for more than a one-hour appointment. Before the conclusion of your initial session, your SCORE volunteer or someone in the local office will schedule another appointment for you or assist you in finding the correct resource. You should meet with your mentor regularly to maximize your chances of success.
I encourage you to seek assistance from SCORE when establishing your business development strategy for government contracting. The key is to find a SCORE volunteer that has experience in the federal marketplace. Be sure to ask about their experience when setting up your initial meeting. For more topics be sure to check out my blog at Byerly Enterprises. Until next week, be safe.