When you’re starting a business, the Small Business Administration recommends that you find a mentor or counselor. This is a person who can walk you through the stages of planning and launching your business. Their expertise in the field will be very valuable, because many new entrepreneurs don’t think of every detail. Here at UnsecuredBizLoan, we want to teach you how to go about finding a mentor. You’ll be much more likely to be financially successful if you have some business mentoring as you use the funds you borrow to launch your business.
One of the best places to start when looking for a mentor is SCORE, which is a network sponsored by the SBA. Volunteers include retired executives, business leaders, and other people who are willing to share their expertise with you online or in person. It’s completely free to meet with someone through SCORE. Other networks affiliated with the SBA include Small Business Development Centers, Minority Business Development Centers, and Women’s Business Centers. If you’re planning to start a business that sells to the federal government, the General Services Administration (GSA) mentor/protégé program is another option.
Another place the Small Business Administration recommends looking for a mentor or counselor is through a trade organization. Once you decide what type of business you will be starting, search for trade organizations that you could participate in, and call to ask whether they can connect you with potential mentors. Many trade organizations offer formal mentor/protégé programs, and others will at least have a list of people you could ask to set up more informal meetings.
Your business network and existing connections can also be a great place to look for a mentor or counselor. Because these people already know you, they may be more likely to provide relevant assistance than a stranger would. If you take this route, make sure you have clearly defined goals from the mentoring relationship and that you are directing your time and meetings in focused and productive way.
To apply for funding for your small business, use the form on the right to begin the application process.