Image of the Score LogoIf you're thinking about starting a business, a mentor may improve your chances of success. Learn more about mentoring and find out how a SCORE mentor can offer you advice, knowledge and professional contacts as you pursue your self-employment goals.

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Achieve More with SCORE

Jan 18, 2018

By Bridget Weston Pollack, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, SCORE

Image of the Score LogoSearching for the perfect job may seem like a daunting task. Finding one with suitable accommodations can be an extra challenge. If you have a business idea, creating your own job may be one way to take matters into your own hands.

Becoming an entrepreneur has become more appealing to people of all abilities, especially with the growth of newer technologies – you may have more resources to learn about running your own business, be able to reach more customers through online marketing, and cut down on business costs by working from home. While many online resources are available to help you start a business, one of the best sources of support is a mentor.

SCORE is one organization that may help you find a mentor. SCORE is the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, with more than 10,000 volunteers in 300 chapters. As a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE has helped more than 11 million entrepreneurs through free services, including mentoring, workshops and educational resources since 1964.

Does mentoring really help?

According to the SBA, small business owners who receive 3 or more hours of mentoring report higher revenues and increased growth. In fact, one survey found that 70% of small businesses that receive mentoring survive more than 5 years. That's double the average lifespan of non-mentored small businesses. And SCORE mentors are available to work with you on an ongoing basis, both in person and virtually via phone, email and video chat.

When you're thinking about finding a mentor, there are some factors to consider. All SCORE mentors are experienced business owners, executives and professionals, so they understand the issues entrepreneurs face and may be able to share their industry knowledge with you. Not only can they provide guidance and advice, they also offer moral support and act as a sounding board for your ideas.

Here are just a few of the areas where mentors, especially a SCORE mentor, can provide advice for:

Learn More

Thinking about starting your own business and looking for more information? Check out these resources that may help you get started:

  • Writing a business plan
  • Legal issues of starting a business
  • Financing strategies
  • Finding customers
  • Advertising and marketing

At SCORE, we understand that your business ideas and plans are very valuable. SCORE mentors keep all information you share confidential, so you don't have to worry about sharing proprietary information or ideas. Talking with your mentor about confidentiality may help you protect your ideas.

Mentors offer valuable relationships, for jobseekers and especially for entrepreneurs. To start working with a SCORE mentor, who may connect you with other people, businesses and organizations that can help your business, check out the SCORE Find a Mentor tool. You can search for a SCORE mentor by keyword, industry, location or expertise. SCORE can also match you with a mentor based on a specific business question you have.

More than just mentoring

SCORE also provides hundreds of free online resources on, such as templates, checklists, eGuides and blogs. We offer educational material on all aspects of starting and running a business, from planning and management to marketing and sales. Popular documents including a Business Plan Template for a Startup Business and Financial Projections Template are available to download.

We also offer workshops both online and at local chapters. Live webinars on a variety of small business topics occur at least once a week. If you miss a webinar, you can access our archive of recorded webinars and interactive courses to view anytime.

As you embark on your journey to entrepreneurship, remember that you are not alone. SCORE is here to support you every step of the way.

To learn more about SCORE and start working with a mentor, visit

About the Author

Bridget Weston Pollack is the Vice President of Marketing & Communications at SCORE. In this role, Bridget is responsible for all branding, marketing, PR and communication efforts. She focuses on implementing marketing plans and strategies for the organization to facilitate the growth of SCORE's mentoring and training services.

Ticket to Work

The Ticket program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work. This free and voluntary program helps people with disabilities move toward financial independence and connects them with services and support to succeed in the workforce. Supports and services are also available for people interested in self-employment.

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You can call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.

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