Leveraging Local Mentoring for your Online Business

This is a guest post by Tracey Smith, owner of Just Relax massage studio.

I discovered the existence of local mentoring some time ago when I picked up a brochure at my local library. This brochure was for something named SCORE and sat in my “to do” pile for quite some time before I finally picked it up and decided to visit their website, http://score.org.

SCORE is an acronym for Service Corps Of Retired Executives.

As a new business owner I am always looking for things that will help me be more successful. I was pleased to find a multitude of tools that would help me do just that.

Online Small Businesses Can Beneft from a SCORE Mentor

According to their website, SCORE has been around since 1964 and consists of a nationwide base of 13,000 volunteers with a vast array of business experience who provide mentoring to both existing and new small business owners. In addition, they offer a collection of workshops and tools/templates to help us grow strong and thriving businesses.


SCORE provides two types of mentors to its clients. One is an on-line mentor who can answer our questions on anything from business start-up to an eventual and profitable sale of our successful businesses. A second type of mentor is a member of a local SCORE chapter who is willing to meet with you face to face to discuss questions and concerns about your business.

All mentors are experienced business men/women who have gone through the ups and downs of small business management.

Workshops and Events

Score also offers two types of educational learning experiences. You can attend free on-line workshops on such topics as “Developing a Small Business Technology Plan” and “Savvy Social Media.”

Local chapters also hold no cost events that cover topics ranging from business start up and Internet marketing. In addition, they hold round table discussion groups, which can provide invaluable feed back to a small business owner.

Templates and Tools

The SCORE website allows small business owners to access a selection of business plan and financial statement templates. And if you are like me, I know you balked at making that business plan! Fortunately (or unfortunately), with SCORE’s templates we have now run out of excuses to get it done.

You can also access the sites archive of articles in the tools section to learn about a wide variety of subjects. For example, “How to Generate Word of Mouth”, “Mobile Marketing and “Nine Ways to Boost your Local Search Results.”

Score’s Impact

I was impressed with the wealth of information and tools available on the SCORE website but even more impressive were the statistics provided by the website which demonstrated the impact SCORE has had on the small business community in the United States. Check out some of these amazing statistics below:

In 2010, SCORE clients started 58,637 businesses

These businesses created 71,449 jobs AND saved 17,629 existing jobs
SCORE mentored and trained 590,550 aspiring and existing small business owners in 2010.
Those businesses generated $19.4 billion in revenue.