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Know the SCORE: Group helps small businesses succeed

More than 300 volunteers from Colorado and across the United States recently met in Dallas for a national leadership conference for SCORE, a nonprofit association of mentors dedicated to helping small businesses.

The three-day conference brought together both experienced and incoming SCORE leaders to discuss experiences and best practices for achieving small business success. Participants attended nine workshops presented by fellow volunteers covering such topics as client service quality, starting workshop programs and marketing.

The client service quality workshop focused on the importance of measuring client interactions and the available tools and methods for doing so. Achieving successful client outcomes is the top priority for all SCORE chapters, and measurements are critical to making sure they stay on the right path.

The “SLATE” methodology was reinforced again and again throughout the conference as successful client interactions remained at the core of every discussion. The SLATE approach requires that small business mentors:

Stop and suspend judgment.

Listen and learn.

Assess and analyze.

Test ideas and teach with tools,

Encourage the dream while setting expectations.

During each conference session, mentors from SCORE chapters small and large, rural and urban,  shared their experiences and the best ways to address challenges small business owners face in starting and growing their ventures.

A technology focused session highlighted new tech offerings for  small business owners, including customer relationship management tools, e-mail marketing and social media platforms. By keeping mentors’ knowledge of available tools fresh, small business clients receive the most relevant and effective advice. 

The final event of the national conference was the 2013 SCORE awards gala — a celebration of entrepreneurship, organizations and individuals that support small business in America and enterprises that have  achieved great success with the help of SCORE. Hearing these inspirational stories of veterans, women, young people and encore entrepreneurs who’ve made their small business dreams come true was a fantastic and fitting capstone to the week.

You, too, can take advantage of the experience, knowledge and passion offered by SCORE mentors by requesting a mentor today. Take it from one 2013 SCORE award winner who advised other small business owners in her acceptance speech: “Run, don’t walk, to SCORE.”

In Colorado, call (303) 844-3985, extension 213, to schedule a free counseling session.

Bridget Weston Pollack is director of marketing and communications at the SCORE Association. Pollack is responsible for branding, communications, marketing and public relations efforts. More information about SCORE is available online at www.score.org.
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