The requests for business mentoring are on the rise!
SCORE in Central Oregon is part of a nationwide volunteer organization under the Small Business Administration consisting of over 230 chapters providing mentoring and education to both new entrepreneurs and existing businesses in need of guidance for business planning, finance, marketing and in many other areas.
In the last year, our local chapter has seen exceptional growth in the number of requests for our mentoring services. Eleven new mentors have joined our team this year, and our hope is to further increase the size of our group to accommodate the continuing increase in the requests for our help.
Chances are, if you own or have owned a business, been involved in sales, finance, management or any other position of responsibility, you have a lot to share in terms of your experience and knowledge. If you like to help, and would like to aid the success of others in business, volunteering as a mentor with SCORE may be a great fit for you.
Some mentors are retired, some semi-retired (such as myself), and some are still active in business. When I sold most of my company interests and moved to the Bend area, I knew I wanted to be active in the community and decided to put my business knowledge to use as a mentor. A common thread among those who become mentors is an interest in helping others by sharing what they know.
In 2022, the Central Oregon chapter support helped in the opening of 44 businesses and the creation of 155 jobs. 1152 hours of direct client mentoring were provided, along with many more hours of planning and preparation.
The “perks” are many. It is always empowering to share what you know; you tend to expand your professional knowledge and skills along the way, i.e. “lifelong learning”. You also get to meet more people in the community and connect with other professionals. More personal/social friendships sometimes emerge with others in the group.
You can make a difference in helping with as minimal a time commitment as 4-5 hours per week, totally on your own schedule. New mentors are supported with a well-structured “on boarding” program, as well as connection to more experienced team members who can help and advise.
Here are some thoughts from some mentors sharing their experiences:
“It is a pleasure to be able to share the business knowledge that I have built from decades of work experience.”
“During my business career, I was very fortunate that some wonderful people wanted to help me succeed. Now those folks are indirectly helping SCORE clients succeed with me in the middle. What an amazing circle of life!”
“I get to experience the creativity of working with all types of new and experienced business Clients. Mentoring for SCORE is a great way to give back to my community.”
Of course, the core outcome is results from the help provided. Here are a few of the many comments and feedback we receive from those who have received mentoring:
“My mentor is so knowledgeable and encouraging, but also with common sense recommendations that I appreciate.”
“As I continue to build the foundation of my business, I know my mentor will be able to guide me with solid advice. I believe this is critical to my success.”
“My mentor is very knowledgeable, personable and supportive. I felt like I had a successful future ahead and that it was attainable. I haven’t felt this optimistic in ages.”
As noted, SCORE is expanding. More mentors are needed to handle the many requests for help that are received every month. The application process is very simple and accessible via the website: score.org/centraloregon. You can also call 541-316-0662.
Consider becoming part of a group that is helping the business community grow and prosper!