Finding a Mentor
So, do you have to do all of this planning alone? Absolutely not! One of the best ways to help insure success is to find and work with a mentor.
- SCORE, Counselors to America's Small Business, is funded and housed by the Small Business Adminstration. Its volunteer membership offers expertise in many practical areas of business; in many cases a member is paired with a business needing his or her particular expertise. SCORE can be contacted at the local SBA office, 830 East Primrose, Suite 101, in Springfield; their phone number is 417-890-8501 extension 218; information for this and other Missouri chapters is available at the national Web site.
- The Small Business Development Center receives a considerable portion of its funding from SBA in partnership with Missouri State University. SBDC maintains its own library of SBA and other publications on practical areas of business and access to MSU business faculty expertise. SBDC's client base is 70% existing business owners and 30% start-up or pre-venture businesses. The local SBDC is located on the MSU campus in Glass Hall, across Hammons Parkway from Meyer Library and Hammon's Fountain. Their phone number is 417-836-5685; fax 417-836-7666.
- The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce's Business Solutions Center makes available a library of materials, many of which are specific to the Springfield metropolitan area. The Chamber's state-of-the-art building offers services such as video conferencing and satellite downlink. The Angels program provides mentoring by qualified and interested local business people. The Chamber is located in the John Q. Hammons Enterprise Center, 202 Hammons Parkway. The phone is 417-862-5567; fax 417-862-1611 and e-mail is email@example.com.
- Southwest Missouri has several University Extension Outreach Business & Industry Specialists. B&I problem-solving services are confidential and provided at little or no charge.
SCORE’s Fast Track Program for Beginning Business Owners and New Business Start-Ups is a series of courses taught at Ozarks Technical College in the Continuing Education Department. Courses cover topics such as marketing, accounting, business structures and insurance. Find out when this series of courses are offered by looking at the latest Schedule of Courses. Look for SCORE under the Business section.